Journalist's Guide

Felony-murder : A murder committed during the commission of a felony such as robbery, burglary, or kidnapping. Forfeiture : The loss of money or property resulting from failure to meet a legal obligation or from the illegal nature or use of the money or property. Grand Jury : A jury composed of 23 individuals who receive and hear evidence to determine whether probable cause exists a crime has been committed and to determine whether an indictment should be re-turned (compare “Petit Jury”). Habeas Corpus : Translated: “you have the body”, a writ to bring a prisoner before a court for its determination whether the prisoner is being held lawfully. Hearsay : Evidence offered by a witness based on what others have said. Hicks Waiver : A waiver of a defendant’s right to a speedy trial, which under Maryland law is 180 days from the defendant’s initial appearance in person or by attorney. Home monitoring : An alternative to incarceration where an individual is confined to their home and monitored electronically. Hospital Warrant : A warrant a court issues under Health-General Article § 12-120 after a probable cause determination the named defendant has violated a conditional release under Title 12 of the Health-General Article. Hung Jury : A jury that is unable to agree on a verdict after a suitable period of deliberation. Immunity from Prosecution : Protection from prosecution in exchange for testimony that might not otherwise be forthcoming. Impeach : To discredit a person or thing, especially by showing a witness is not telling the truth. In Banc Review : A review of a trial court’s rulings or judgment by a panel of three Circuit Court judges, sometimes referred to as a “poor man’s appeal.” In Camera : In chambers; in private. In Forma Pauperis : A term used in federal courts relative to permission given to a poor person to proceed without liability for court costs or fees and frequently used by inmates filing papers in state courts for which they are seeking waiver of prepayment of filing fees. In Propria Persona : “Pro se” Translated from Latin, “in one’s own proper person;" self- representation, generally without benefit of an attorney although a court may appoint standby counsel. Incarcerate : To confine to a jail or correctional institution. Incompetency : Lack of capacity to understand the nature and object of the proceedings, to consult with counsel, and to assist in preparing a defense. Indictment : A charging document returned by a grand jury and filed in a Circuit Court. Indigent : Unable by reason of poverty or insufficient financial means to pay. Information : A charging document presented by a State’s attorney, instead of a grand jury, and filed in a Circuit Court.


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