Logan v. State

Decision Date11 February 1981
Docket NumberNos. 24,36,s. 24
Citation289 Md. 460,425 A.2d 632
PartiesTheodore Russell LOGAN v. STATE of Maryland. Eugene Jerome BANKS v. STATE of Maryland.
CourtMaryland Court of Appeals

Michael R. Malloy, Asst. Public Defender, Baltimore (Alan H. Murrell, Public Defender, Baltimore, on the briefs), for appellant cross-appellee in No. 36.

Michael A. Anselmi, Asst. Atty. Gen., Baltimore (Stephen H. Sachs, Atty. Gen., Baltimore, on the brief), for appellee cross-appellant in No. 36.


DIGGES, Judge.

These two criminal causes, consolidated for consideration in this Court, present us with legal issues common to both, as well as an additional question in each related solely to the case from which it arises. The mutual issues are: (i) whether, as a technical legal question, a detained criminal suspect can waive the requirement of Maryland District Rule 723 a that the defendant "be taken before a judicial officer without unnecessary delay;" (ii) assuming that an accused cannot, or that one of these defendants did not, validly waive his right to a prompt appearance, whether that defendant's statement made prior to his appearance before a commissioner was obtained in violation of M.D.R. 723 a; and (iii) assuming that waiver of a timely appearance can effectively be made, whether, in fact, a valid and acceptable waiver was obtained by police in each of these cases. The issues unique to the individual causes are: (i) whether, in determining the sentence imposed on one of these defendants, the trial court erred in considering and partly relying on admittedly illegally obtained confessions to six other crimes; and (ii) whether the defendant was properly informed of and afforded the opportunity to exercise his right of allocution pursuant to Maryland Rule 772 d. Because of the multiplicity and diversity of issues presented by the two appeals, we shall initially set forth the general factual background of each case, and then supply particular additional information that may be necessary for a proper understanding of the various contentions made here and our disposition of them.


In the first case we discuss, petitioner Theodore Russell Logan voluntarily surrendered himself to police after learning that a warrant for his arrest had been obtained in connection with the theft of personal property from an apartment in Adelphi. While in police custody, but prior to his appearance before a judicial officer, Logan was advised by the police that he had a right to an immediate initial appearance before a commissioner, where he would be specifically informed of a number of rights that, as an accused, he was entitled to enjoy. After stating that he understood the information provided him, Logan ostensibly waived his right "to an immediate initial appearance." This petitioner subsequently made incriminating statements which were later admitted at trial over his objection. He was found guilty by a jury in the Circuit Court for Prince George's County (Fisher, J.) on April 20, 1979, of daytime housebreaking and petit larceny, and for these crimes sentenced to serve a total prison term of nine and one-half years. The Court of Special Appeals affirmed the convictions, Logan v. State, 45 Md.App. 14, 410 A.2d 1110 (1980), and we granted certiorari.

Eugene Jerome Banks, the petitioner in the other appeal before us, was arrested following the shooting and killing of Robert McNeil, a taxi driver, in Hyattsville, Maryland on January 20, 1979. After a check for traces of gunpowder on his hands and treatment in a hospital for a dog bite suffered during arrest, Banks was read a litany of rights by the investigating police officer, including his right to a prompt initial appearance before a commissioner pursuant to M.D.R. 723 a. Following a written acknowledgement that he had received and understood these rights and waived the prompt appearance requirement, Banks made an inculpatory statement implicating himself in the robbery and killing of McNeil. Over the defendant's objection, this statement was subsequently received into evidence at his trial in the Circuit Court for Prince George's County. Upon being convicted by a jury of, and sentenced by Judge Ross to a total of fifty years for, second degree murder, false imprisonment, use of a handgun during the commission of a felony, armed robbery, and carrying a handgun, Banks noted an appeal. The Court of Special Appeals, in an unreported opinion, affirmed the convictions, but vacated the sentence because it concluded that Banks' right to allocution provided for in Maryland Rule 772 d was not afforded him; we granted certiorari.

Because important issues relating to waiver of the right to a prompt initial appearance under M.D.R. 723 a are common to both the Logan and Banks causes, we ordered the cases consolidated for argument, and will answer each of the contentions presented by the two appeals in this one opinion.


The central contention of both petitioners in urging this Court to reverse their convictions is that the requirement of M.D.R. 723 a that an accused who is in custody be promptly taken before a judicial officer cannot, as a matter of law, be waived by a detained suspect. In confronting this issue, it is important to note at the outset that we are at this time only considering a legal question and, thus, we need not, for the purposes of its resolution, concern ourselves with the factual aspects of the ostensible waiver occurring in each case. We accordingly approach this specific issue with the assumption that these defendants, being fully apprised and knowledgeable of their right to a prompt initial appearance, willingly and voluntarily intended to waive that right. In short, the question now before us is whether a voluntary, intelligent and knowledgeable waiver is permitted.

We commence our discussion of this matter by setting out in full the rule as it was formerly worded which governed the detention of the two petitioners here:

A defendant who is detained pursuant to an arrest shall be taken before a judicial officer without unnecessary delay and in no event later than the earlier of (1) 24 hours after arrest or (2) the first session of court after the defendant's arrest upon a warrant or, where an arrest has been made without a warrant, the first session of court after the charging document is filed. A charging document shall be filed promptly after arrest if not already filed. (Maryland District Rule 723 a). 1

Although the rule itself neither expressly permits nor prohibits a waiver of its provisions, this Court, a mere two years ago in Johnson v. State, 282 Md. 314, 384 A.2d 709 (1978), addressed whether the requirements of M.D.R. 723 a could be waived. The accused in Johnson had been detained for over 24 hours following his arrest without presentment before a judicial officer, during which time he implicated himself to a degree in the robbery and shooting for which he had been arrested. The police interrogation which immediately followed his appearance before the commissioner further yielded his outright confession to the commission of those crimes. In addressing the issue whether a violation of the dictates of M.D.R. 723 a requires the automatic exclusion from trial of evidence obtained during a period of unnecessary delay, Judge Levine, speaking for this Court, stated:

In our opinion the protection of the right of an accused to prompt production before a judicial officer following arrest will be most effectively accomplished by a per se exclusionary rule. Not only is such a rule calculated to deter unlawful detentions and to preserve the integrity of the criminal justice system, but it is likely to assure more certain and even-handed application of the prompt presentment requirement and will provide to trial courts, the bar and law enforcement officials greater guidance as to the permissible limits of custodial interrogation prior to an initial appearance.

We therefore hold that any statement, voluntary or otherwise, obtained from an arrestee during a period of unnecessary delay in producing him before a judicial officer, thereby violating M.D.R. 723 a, is subject to exclusion when offered into evidence against the defendant as part of the prosecution's case-in-chief. (Id. at 328-29, 384 A.2d at 717.)

In Johnson, after rejecting the State's contention that by waiving his Miranda 2 rights, a detained suspect automatically abandons the M.D.R. 723 a right, id. at 331-32, 384 A.2d at 719, this Court concluded with the following unequivocal language, which is quite pertinent to our inquiry here:

In sum, then, unless appellant waived his right to prompt presentment before a judicial officer, (the) statements implicating him in the crimes ... should have been excluded from evidence, having been obtained in clear violation of M.D.R. 723 a.

Of course, a defendant may specifically waive his right to prompt presentment, provided such waiver is knowingly and intelligently made .... Since the record in the present case reveals no indication that appellant ever effectively consented to a deferment of his initial appearance, we hold that his rights under M.D.R. 723 a were not validly waived. (Id. at 330, 332, 384 A.2d at 718, 719. (citations omitted).)

In an effort to counter the significance of the quoted language, the Public Defender argues that this is mere "dictum" which should not be transformed into a holding because it subverts the basic principles which had earlier been announced in the Johnson opinion, and entreats us to disaffirm or overrule its import. We decline the invitation. Before explaining our reasons for adhering to our statement in Johnson, we initially observe that the petitioners are incorrect in characterizing this language as merely "dictum." To the contrary, our conclusion there was central to our inquiry indeed, a necessary requisite to the ultimate result...

To continue reading

Request your trial
111 cases
  • Huffington v. State
    • United States
    • Maryland Court of Appeals
    • September 1, 1984
    ...(1966) ]; Gatewood v. State, 15 Md.App. 450, 291 A.2d 688 (1972)." 267 Md. at 193-94, 297 A.2d at 706. More recently in Logan v. State, 289 Md. 460, 425 A.2d 632 (1981), Judge Digges said for the Court: "In considering what is proper punishment, it is now well-settled in this State that a j......
  • Huggins v. State
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • July 7, 2022
    ...876 (1995) ; Booth v. State , 327 Md. 142, 608 A.2d 162 (1992) ; State v. Magwood, 290 Md. 615, 432 A.2d 446 (1981) ; Logan v. State , 289 Md. 460, 425 A.2d 632 (1981) ; Canter v. State , 220 Md. 615, 155 A.2d 498 (1959) ; Brice v. State , 225 Md. App. 666, 126 A.3d 246 (2015) ; Choate v. S......
  • Ayers v. State
    • United States
    • Maryland Court of Appeals
    • September 1, 1993
    ...Smith v. State, 308 Md. 162, 166, 517 A.2d 1081 (1986); Reid v. State, 302 Md. 811, 819, 490 A.2d 1289 (1985); Logan v. State, 289 Md. 460, 480, 425 A.2d 632 (1981), and these sentences fall within the exercise of that broad discretion. We conclude that this is not one of those "rare cases"......
  • Scott v. State
    • United States
    • Maryland Court of Appeals
    • September 1, 1985
    ...It is clear that evidence of convictions obtained before sentencing is admissible in "other sentencing procedures." Logan v. State, 289 Md. 460, 480-481, 425 A.2d 632 (1981); Bartholomey v. State, 267 Md. 175, 193-194, 297 A.2d 696 (1972). See also Wasman v. United States, 468 U.S. 559, 569......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT