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Colvin v. State

Court of Appeals of Maryland

December 15, 2016

RODERICK COLVIN
v.
STATE OF MARYLAND

          Argued: September 7, 2016

         Circuit Court for Baltimore City Case Nos. 18906104, 18906105, 18906106

          Barbera, C.J., Greene, Adkins, McDonald, Watts, Getty, JJ., Harrell, Glenn T., Jr., (Senior Judge, Specially Assigned)

          OPINION

          Barbera, C.J.

         We examine in this case whether an alleged procedural error in the finalization of a verdict is a cognizable claim under Maryland Rule 4-345(a), which permits the courts of this State to correct an illegal sentence at any time. The scope of this rule, allowing collateral and belated attacks on the sentence and excluding waiver as a bar to relief, is narrow. We hold that the procedural error alleged in the present case does not come within the narrow meaning of Rule 4-345(a) and therefore is not a cognizable claim under that rule.

         I.

         The trial, verdict, sentence, and direct appeal.

         Roderick Colvin was tried in 1989 before a jury in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City on numerous charges in connection with the murder of Charles Reese and the attempted murder of Jeanette Coleman. We have no need to summarize all of what occurred at trial. Relevant to this appeal is what took place in the courtroom after the jury completed its deliberations. At that time, the following occurred:

THE CLERK: Members of the Jury, have you agreed upon a verdict?
THE JURY: Yes, we have.
THE CLERK: Who shall speak for you? Madam Forelady, please stand.
THE COURT: I think that the Forewoman has asked that Juror Number 3 speak for the Jury. Any objection Counsel?
[DEFENSE]: No, Your Honor.
[STATE]: No, Your Honor.
THE COURT: All right.
THE CLERK: Juror Number 3, please stand.
THE COURT: You selected your own foreperson I see.
THE CLERK: How say you as to Charles Reese under first degree murder, not ...

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