Today two important pieces of legislation affecting the lives and careers of Maryland law enforcement officers were signed into law by the Governor. Senate Bill 436 – Exclusion of Evidence, sponsored by Senator Frosh, adds a provision to section 3-105 of the LEOBR. The new provision, paragraph (C) allows a judge to exclude any evidence obtained in violation of any right granted by the LEOBR.
The second, House Bill 598 – Disclosures- Punitive Action, sponsored by Delegate Dumais, adds a new section, 3-106.1 to the LEOBR. This section provides a protection for officers who, for one reason or another, may have to have a disclosure made by the State’s Attorney to the defense to comply with Maryland disclosure rules. In some jurisdictions, Chiefs and Sheriffs have terminated officers simply because a disclosure had to be made by the State’s Attorney. This would occur even if the officer was found “not sustained” by Internal Affairs or “not guilty by a hearing board. This addition to the LEOBR would prevent a Chief or Sheriff from taking punitive action in those instances.
Both Laws take effect on October1, 2014