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University of Baltimore Law Forum

Abstract

The Court of Appeals of Maryland held that a “benefit,” as used in Maryland Criminal Pattern Jury Instruction 3:13, is “something akin to” a direct, quid pro quo exchange for a State’s witness’s testimony. Preston v. State, 444 Md. 67, 85, 118 A.3d 902, 913 (2015). The court of appeals further held that reasonable protective housing provided to a State’s witness, by itself, is not a “benefit.” Id. at 85, 104, 118 A.3d at 913, 924. The court also concluded that moving a State’s witness into protective housing, at State expense, was “not unreasonable.” Id. Accordingly, the court affirmed the trial court’s omission of a particularized witness credibility instruction that would have directed the jury to consider the housing accommodations a witness received.

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