Grogg v. State, 260

CourtCourt of Appeals of Maryland
Citation231 Md. 530,191 A.2d 435
Docket NumberNo. 260,260
PartiesLester L. GROGG v. STATE of Maryland.
Decision Date05 June 1963

Roger C. Duncan, Towson, for appellant.

Robert F. Sweeney, Asst. Atty. Gen. (Thomas B. Finan, Atty. Gen., Baltimore, Frank H. Newell, III, and Gerard V. Caldwell, State's Atty. and Asst. State's Atty., respectively, for Baltimore County, Towson, on the brief), for appellee.



Appellant, Lester L. Grogg was found guilty of murder in the first degree, without capital punishment, by a jury in the Circuit Court for Baltimore County, and was sentenced to life imprisonment. He appeals from the judgment.

The evidence shows that on the evening of September 3, 1961, the appellant and an accomplice, Robert Kelley, went to the home of Mrs. Katie Hoffheiser with the intent to rob her. Appellant gained entrance on the pretense of purchasing some eggs and while he sat talking with Mrs. Hoffheiser, Kelley, who had remained outside with a loaded rifle, fired a shot through the screen door which fatally wounded the victim. Appellant then took approximately $28.00 of the deceased's money and left the premises with Kelley.

Appellant and his accomplice were indicted for first degree murder, to which appellant pleaded 'not guilty' and 'not guilty by reason of insanity.' Kelley was tried separately, prior to the appellant. The sole question presented on this appeal is whether the trial court erred in refusing to permit defense counsel to propound the following question to prospective jurors on voir dire examination: 'Now, in the past hundred years, do you believe that we have made great progress, some progress, or little progress in the field of understanding and treating mental illness?' In sustaining the State's objection the trial judge said he thought the question too broad. It is appellant's contention that this question goes to possible bias on the part of veniremen toward the science of psychiatry and that should such bias exist and be revealed by the answer it would prevent the juryman from properly weighing the psychiatric evidence to be presented at the trial. We note that appellant failed to propound any further questions to the veniremen on the same subject.

Article XXI of the Declaration of Rights of the Maryland Constitution has been held to guarantee to a defendant the privilege of examining prospective jurors for the purpose of determining possible causes for disqualification. Chernock v. State, 203 Md. 147, 99 A.2d 748. See also Giles v. State, 229 Md. 370, 183 A.2d 359. However, since there are no s...

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34 cases
  • Colvin v. State
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Maryland
    • 16 Marzo 1984
    ...(1961); see also Langley v. State, 281 Md. 337, 378 A.2d 1338 (1977); Piles v. State, 233 Md. 487, 197 A.2d 238 (1964); Grogg v. State, 231 Md. 530, 191 A.2d 435 (1963). Moreover, when considering the position appellant urges this Court to adopt, we previously declined to find an abuse of d......
  • Davis v. State, 114
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Maryland
    • 1 Septiembre 1992
    ...530, 532, 191 A.2d 435, 436 (1962). We also pointed out that the mechanism by which that right is to be exercised is the voir dire process. Id., quoting Corens, 185 Md. at 564, 45 A.2d at 343. We reiterated the broad rule underlying the voir dire process, that "any circumstances which may r......
  • Bremer v. State, 583
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • 6 Julio 1973
    ...those which are speculative or in the nature of a fishing expedition may be refused by the court in its discretion. Grogg v. State, 231 Md. 530, 191 A.2d 435, Kujawa v. Baltimore Transit Co., 224 Md. 195, 167 A.2d 96, Emery v. F. P. Asher, Jr. & Sons, Inc., 196 Md. 1, 75 A.2d 333. See Whitt......
  • Bernadyn v. State
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • 5 Septiembre 2003
    ...mechanism whereby the right to a fair and impartial jury, guaranteed by Art. 21 of the Maryland Declaration of Rights, see Grogg v. State, 231 Md. 530, 532, 191 A.2d 435 (1963), is given substance. See Hill v. State, 339 Md. 275, 280, 661 A.2d 1164 (1995); Bedford v. State, 317 Md. 659, 670......
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