University of Baltimore Law Forum


The Court of Appeals of Maryland held that a motion to correct an illegal sentence can only be granted if the error is based on substantive law. Colvin v. State, 450 Md. 718, 728, 150 A.3d 850, 856 (2016). Not polling the jury foreperson after she announced the jury's verdicts was a procedural error, and thus not one of the limited exceptions to correct an illegal sentence under Maryland Rule 4-345(a). Id. at 726-27, 150 A.3d at 855-56. In 1989, Roderick Colvin ("Colvin") was tried before a jury in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City on numerous charges, including murder and attempted murder. After jury deliberations, the foreperson announced the verdicts for the jury on each charge, finding Colvin guilty of all charges except for the first-degree murder charge. At defense counsel's request, the clerk polled each juror but failed to individually poll the foreperson. The clerk then hearkened the verdicts and asked if all jurors agreed, to which all jurors, including the foreperson, responded in the affirmative.



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