Journalist's Guide

Deposition : Pretrial examination of a witness on written or oral questions answered under oath, used to discover the witness’ testimony in preparation for trial, and admissible at trial in lieu of live testimony if the witness is unavailable or refuses to testify. Detainer : A notice, usually a warrant, that an inmate is wanted to face charges in another jurisdiction. Directed Verdict : See “Motion for Judgment.” Discovery : Procedures used to obtain disclosure of evidence before trial, such as: depositions, by oral examination or written questions; written interrogatories; requests for production or inspection of documents; orders for mental or physical examinations; and requests for admissions of fact and genuineness of documents. District Court : Maryland’s lowest trial court, a court of limited jurisdiction. Docket Number : The designation assigned to each case filed in a (a.k.a. case number) particular court. Docket : A list of cases to be heard in court (trial docket); a list of pleadings, papers, orders, etc., filed in a particular case (docket entries). Double Jeopardy : Constitutional prohibition against trying a person twice for the same crime. Does not normally prohibit individual from being tried in a state court and a federal court for the same or similar crime since they are considered different “sovereigns.” En banc Review : See “In Banc Review.” Enjoin : To require a person to perform or to abstain or desist from some act. Evanescent evidence : Evidence which can disappear relatively quickly, such as the amount of alcohol in a person’s blood. Exculpatory evidence : Evidence which tends to indicate a defendant did not commit the crime alleged. Ex Parte : On or from one side or party only, commonly used in civil proceedings to refer to proof of damages by a plaintiff after default judgment has been entered against a defendant for failure to answer or to refer to communications by one party with a court without notice to the other party. Exception : A formal objection to an action of a court during trial, evidencing an objecting party’s disagreement with the court’s ruling and preserving the matter for review on appeal. Exclusive Jurisdiction : Jurisdiction held by only one court over the type of case (compare “concurrent jurisdiction”). Expungement : The effective removal from public inspection of police and court records. Extradition : The formal process of delivering an individual apprehended in one jurisdiction (e.g., a state or country) to the authorities of another jurisdiction in which that individual has been accused or convicted of a crime. Felony : The more serious of two categories to which criminal offenses are assigned (compare “Misdemeanor”).


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