Franklin v. State, 398

CourtCourt of Appeals of Maryland
Citation212 A.2d 279,239 Md. 645
Docket NumberNo. 398,398
PartiesBenjamin FRANKLIN v. STATE of Maryland.
Decision Date02 August 1965

Page 645

239 Md. 645
212 A.2d 279
STATE of Maryland.
No. 398.
Court of Appeals of Maryland.
Aug. 2, 1965.

[212 A.2d 280] Juanita Jackson Mitchell, Baltimore, for appellant.

Julius A. Romano, Asst. Atty. Gen., Baltimore (Thomas B. Finan, Atty. Gen., and Charles E. Moylan, Jr., State's Atty. for Baltimore City, Baltimore, on the brief), for appellee.


HORNEY, Judge.

The principal question presented by this appeal from convictions for the sale of narcotics is whether the defendant was denied the right of confrontation as the result of an informer invoking the privilege against self-incrimination. An additionaal question is raised as to the sufficiency of the evidence.

On an evening in February 1964 an officer of the Baltimore City narcotics squad and an informer went to a bar on West Saratoga Street. On entering, the informer engaged in a conversation with the defendant. Shortly thereafter the officer and informer left, went to the parked automobile of the informer and got in the front seat. The defendant followed, got in the rear seat and asked 'how much' was wanted. He was told they wanted 'one' and the officer handed the defendant nine dollars, whereupon the defendant left the automobile and returned promptly with a glassine envelope and gave it to the officer. On the next evening, the officer, the informer and the defendant followed a similar routine. On this occasion, the defendant returned to the automobile with two glassine envelopes and received twenty dollars in return. Subsequent chemical analyses showed that the envelopes contained heroin. Approximately five months later, the officer obtained a warrant and arrested the defendant, who, upon being interrogated, denied ever having seen the officer.

At the trial, the officer, besides relating the aforegoing incidents, positively identified the defendant as the person who had sold him the heroin. In his defense, the defendant called a friend who testified that on both of the days the defendant was charged with selling heroin he had been in Washington, D.C., and not in Baltimore. The State, in rebuttal, produced a federal narcotics agent, who had worked with the city officer. The agent testified that he had observed the meetings between the city officer, informer and defendant on both occasions. No other witnesses were

Page 645

called by the State, and the defendant decided not to testify.

The informer was called as a witness by the defendant and sworn. When he was asked whether or not he was a paid informer, he refused to answer the question on the ground that

Page 647

it might incriminate him. At the ensuing colloquy between the trial judge and defense counsel, the latter sought to have the court order the witness to answer the question. But the trial judge, who had knowledge...

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12 cases
  • Wilson v. State, 72
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Maryland
    • September 1, 1993
    ...400, 85 S.Ct. 1065, 13 L.Ed.2d 923 (1965); Douglas v. Alabama, 380 U.S. 415, 85 S.Ct. 1074, 13 L.Ed.2d 934 (1965); Franklin v. State, 239 Md. 645, 647-648, 212 A.2d 279 (1965).3 The Supreme Court noted in Lee v. Illinois, 476 U.S. 530, 543 n. 4, 106 S.Ct. 2056, 2064 n. 4, 90 L.Ed.2d 514 (19......
  • Marshall v. State Of Md.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Maryland
    • July 27, 2010
    ...the Courts and Judicial Proceedings Article are personal. Bhagwat v. State, 338 Md. 263, 271, 658 A.2d 244, 247 (1995); Franklin v. State, 239 Md. 645, 648, 212 A.2d 279, 281 (1965); Royal v. State, 236 Md. 443, 447, 204 A.2d 500, 502 (1964). In Smith v. State, 394 Md. 184, 213, 905 A.2d 31......
  • Wiggins v. State, 211
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • September 1, 1991
    ...356 (1990), recently discussed the issue of cross-examination of witnesses for matters affecting bias or prejudice: In Franklin v. State, 239 Md. 645 [212 A.2d 279] (1965), we held that the right to cross-examine in general is inherent in the right to confront witnesses. More specifically, ......
  • State v. Collins, 251
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Maryland
    • March 15, 1972
    ...the states through the Fourteenth Amendment. Pointer v. Texas, 380 U.S. 400, 85 S.Ct. 1065, 13 L.Ed.2d 923 (1965); Franklin v. State, 239 Md. 645, 647, 212 A.2d 279 (1965). Both Rules 727 and 775 embody this basic constitutional 1 For a list of generally recognized exceptions to the hearsay......
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