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For Immediate Release
April 18, 2005
Media Contact:
Kevin Enright 410-576-6357

SUPREME COURT AGREES TO HEAR CURRAN’S APPEAL

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that the United States Supreme Court has agreed to hear his office’s appeal regarding the case of Leeander J. Blake. No official date for the argument date has been set, but it is likely to be heard in late 2005. “We are quite pleased that the Supreme Court has decided to hear this case,” said Attorney General Curran. “The Supreme Court grants only a small percentage of the certiorari petitions filed, but we made a strong argument as to why this case needed to be reviewed.” General Curran will assemble a team of attorneys to present this case to the country’s highest court.

Leeander J. Blake and an accomplice, Terrence Tolbert, were accused of murdering 51 year-old Straughan Lee Griffin of Annapolis in 2002. Tolbert was found guilty of murder and other offenses in January 2005, but Blake’s case has never reached trial. Blake’s attorneys argued that his statements made to police were inadmissable because Blake had asked for an attorney before making these statements. An Anne Arundel County Circuit Court judge ruled the statement inadmissable. The Attorney General’s Office then appealed to the Maryland Special Court of Appeals arguing that Blake had initiated the conversation in which he incriminated himself, and the earlier ruling was overruled. But Blake’s attorney’s appealed that decision, and the Maryland Court of Appeals reversed the Court of Special Appeals. Maryland state law requires that a case be dropped if prosecutors unsuccessfully appeal a pretrial ruling suppressing evidence in a criminal case.

   

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