Press Releases

6/21/2021: In Aftermath of Video Depicting Excessive Police Force, Public Defender Calls for the Implementation of Body Worn Cameras by Ocean City Police

6/14/2021: Public Defender Testifies In Support of Proposal to Allow Courts to Reduce Sentences for Rehabilitated Prisoners After They Have Served a Lengthy Period of Time

6/1/2021: Erica Suter Named Director of the University of Baltimore/Maryland Office of the Public Defender Innocence Project Clinic

5/5/2021: Public Defenders, NAACP File Federal Court Challenge Demanding Immediate Removal of Racist Confederate Statue from Eastern Shore Courthouse

11/23/2020: Public Defender Demands Postponement of District Court Hearings in Light of COVID 

9/17/2020: Public Defenders Testify About Police Violence and Misconduct Statewide; Need for Police Accountability, Transparency, and Reform

6/19/2020: Prince George’s County District Public Defender Calls for Reforms and Reduced Policing

6/10/2020: Juvenile Defenders Join Call to Remove School Resource Officers from the Prince George’s County Public Schools

6/8/2020:  Maryland Public Defenders March for Black Lives and Demand Racial Justice

5/20/2020:  Public Defender Applauds Governor for Requiring Universal Testing at Maryland’s State Run Correctional and Juvenile Facilities

5/18/2020:  After Major Outbreak Confirmed at Youth Facility in Carroll County, Public 
Defender Demands Testing for All Children in DJS Custody 

4/15/2020:   Chief Judge Issues Second Order Addressing Decarceration in Light of COVID-19, Directing Trial Judges to Immediately Consider Release of At-Risk Inmates

4/14/2020:   Chief Judge Orders All Local Administrative Judges to Immediately 
Consider Release in Individual Cases

4/4/2020:  To Stem the Crisis of COVID-19 in Prisons and Jail, the Office of the Public Defender Asks Court of Appeals to Exercise its Emergency Powers

4/3/2020: Defenders Petition Court for Mass Release of Children in Maryland’s Juvenile Jails and Prisons; Demand DJS #BringOurKidsHome

3/18/2020: Public Defender Applauds Dismissal of Minor Charges as Effort to Stem the Spread of COVID-19 in Baltimore City Jail


3/13/2020: Statements by Leadership from the Maryland Office of the Public Defender and its Baltimore City Office Regarding COVID-19

2/24/2020: Public Defender Seeks to Identify Cases Potentially Impacted by Breach of Salisbury Police Department

11/25/2019: Three Juvenile Lifers Exonerated After Spending 36 Years in Prison

5/3/2019: Brothers Exonerated and Released After a Combined 50 Years’ Incarceration 

12/18/2018: Exonerated Client Released After 27 Years' Incarceration 

12/6/2018: Statement of Kirsten Getty-Downs, District Public Defender for Baltimore City, Regarding Police Corruption By Former BPD Officer Matthew Ryckman 

​3/12/2018: Court Observation Project Finds Minimal Use of Money Bail with Reliance on Held Without Bail for Some Charges; Recommends More Robust Pretrial Services and Other Measures

3/9/2018: Baltimore City District Public Defender Responds to City Solicitor and State’s Attorney’s Announcement to “Streamline” the Obligation to Disclose BPD Officer Internal Affairs Documents to Defense Counsel in Criminal Cases

2/21/2018: Baltimore City Felony Trial Chief To Testify at BPD Commissioner Confirmation Hearing; Demands Transparency and Accountability to Root Out Corruption

11/30/2017: New Charges Against Previously Indicted Officer Underscores Widespread, Lengthy Nature of BPD Corruption; Individuals in Cases Impacted Remain Wrongly Incarcerated

9/28/2017: Public Defender Applauds Contempt Order Due to Health Officials’ Disregard of Obligation to Admit Individuals Committed for Hospitalization

9/12/2017: District Public Defender and Director of Juvenile Justice Policy Testify at Legislative Briefing on Public Safety in Baltimore

7/31/2017: Another Problematic Police Body-Worn Camera Video Identified; Baltimore State’s Attorney Still Failing to Disclose Information in Impacted Cases

7/25/2017: District Public Defender Submits Written Testimony in Opposition of Mandatory Minimum Sentence Bill

7/20/2017: Office of the Public Defender Concerned by Baltimore State’s Attorney’s Disregard for Disclosure Obligations and Failure to Develop Clear Policies and Protocols

7/19/2017: Public Defender Discloses Video Evidence of Officers Planting Drugs; Demands Swift Action by Prosecutors and Thorough Review by Police

3/23/2017: Convictions from 2015 Onward Involving Indicted Officers to be Vacated

3/7/2017: OPD Sets Up Hotline for Individuals with Cases Involving Indicted Officers

11/17/2016: Public Defender Supports Proposed Rule Change; Revisions Needed to Address the Millions of Dollars in Bail Premiums Extracted from Maryland Communities.

11/15/2016: Maryland Communities Paid More Than $256 Million in Corporate Bail Bond Premiums Between 2011 and 2015, Often in Cases Where There Was Ultimately No Finding of Wrongdoing

10/11/2016:  OPD Endorses Attorney General Advisory Opinion, Urges the End of Jailing Presumptively Innocent People Solely Because They are Too Poor to Pay Bail  

8/24/2016: OPD Statement on the Baltimore Police Department’s Secret Aerial Surveillance Program

8/10/2016: OPD Applauds DOJ Report, Urges Greater Transparency by the Baltimore City Police Department

2/2/2016: OPD Applauds Supreme Court Decision, Furthers Effort to Address Juvenile Life and Life Without Parole Sentences in Maryland

9/23/2015: Press Release on Shackling of Children in Court

​5/7/2015: Police Continue to Illegally Arrest Children in Baltimore

4/29/2015: Unlawful Detention of Over 230 Inmates in Baltimore Central Booking and Intake Facility

8/22/2014: Public Defender Calls for Removal and Investigation of Judge who Ordered Officer to Shock Defendant in Court

7/10/2013: OPD and the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law Partner to Assist Individuals Impacted by Unger v. State