WWW.ABSTRACT.DISLIB.INFO
FREE ELECTRONIC LIBRARY - Abstracts, online materials
 
<< HOME
CONTACTS



Pages:     | 1 | 2 || 4 |

«Tony Lamont Haile v. State of Maryland, No. 112, September Term, 2006. Opinion by Bell, C.J. CRIMINAL LAW – PROCEDURE – MOTION FOR JUDGMENT OF ...»

-- [ Page 3 ] --

“In sum, appellant’s failure to move for judgment of acquittal at the close of all evidence at trial bars appellate review of her insufficiency contention. Had she properly made such a motion at trial, a question of law would have been raised which this Court and the intermediate appellate court could have considered on direct appeal.” Id., 306 Md. at 589-90, 510 A.2d at 578-79 (citations omitted).

Although the petitioner correctly concludes and concedes that his claim regarding evidentiary insufficiency was unpreserved, we will exercise our discretion, under Rule 8-131 (a), to interpret CL § 10-606 (a) (3), and to make clear its purpose and scope. It is our opinion that, even if the right to appellate review had been properly preserved, the petitioner’s claim of evidentiary insufficiency would fail.

In reviewing a question regarding the sufficiency of the evidence presented at trial, the primary question we ask is “whether, after viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the prosecution, any rational trier of fact could have found the essential elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.” State v. Smith, 374 Md. 527, 533, 823 A.2d 664, 668 (2003). See Jackson v. Virginia, 443 U.S. 307, 313, 99 S. Ct. 2781, 2785, 61 L. Ed. 2d 560, 569 (1979); White v. State, 363 Md. 150, 162, 767 A.2d 855, 862 (2001); Tracy v. State, 423 Md. 1, 11, 31 A.3d 160, 165-66 (2011). Mindful not to usurp the role of the fact-finder, it is important, in so doing, that “[w]e do not re-weigh the evidence,” but, instead, seek to determine “whether the verdict was supported by sufficient evidence, direct or circumstantial, which could convince a rational trier of fact of the defendant’s guilt of the offenses charged beyond a reasonable doubt.” Smith, 374 Md. at 534, 823 A.2d at 668 (quoting White, 363 Md. at 162, 767 A.2d at 862).

The petitioner challenges his conviction under CL § 10-606 (a) (3), which prohibits the intentional infliction of “bodily harm, permanent disability, or death on an animal owned or used by a law enforcement unit.” As we have seen, the petitioner’s argument turns, largely, on his assertion that the language of CL § 10-606 (a) (3) is sufficiently similar to the language of CL § 3-202 (a) (1)7 for this Court to apply its categorization of the latter, as a specific intent crime, to the former. We reject this argument.

“The cardinal rule of statutory interpretation is to ascertain and effectuate the real and actual intent of the legislature.” Lockshin v. Semsker, 412 Md. 257, 274, 987 A.2d 18, 28 (2010) (citing Board of Education v. Zimmer-Rubert, 409 Md. 200, 214, 973 A.2d 233, 241 (2009); In re Najasha B., 409 Md. 20, 27, 972 A.2d 845, 849 (2009)). See State v. Weems, 429 Md. 329, 337, 55 A.3d 921, 926 (2012); Stoddard v. State, 395 Md. 653, 661, 911 A.2d 1245, 1249 (2006); Moore v. State, 388 Md. 446, 452, 879 A.2d 1111, 1114 (2005). We begin this inquiry by looking, first, to the plain language of the statute, “on the tacit theory that the Legislature is presumed to have meant what it said and said what it meant.” Witte v. Azarian, 369 Md. 518, 525, 801 A.2d 160, 165 (2002). See Deville v. State, 383 Md. 217, 223, 858 A.2d 484, 487 (2004). “If there is no ambiguity in that language, either inherently or by reference to other relevant laws or circumstances, the inquiry as to legislative intent ends,” and there is no “need to resort to the various, and sometimes inconsistent, external rules of construction....” Arundel Corp v. Marie, 383 Md. 489, 502, 860 A.2d 886, 894 (2004). We do not, however, “add or delete language so as to reflect an intent not evidenced in the plain and unambiguous language of the statute,” nor do we “construe a statute with forced or subtle interpretations that limit or extend its application.” Lockshin, 412 Md. at CL § 3-202 (a) (1) provides that “[a] person may not intentionally cause or attempt to cause serious physical injury to another.” 275, 987 A.2d at 29 (internal quotation marks omitted) (internal citations omitted). Only where “the words of a statute are ambiguous and subject to more than one reasonable interpretation,” or “where the words are clear and unambiguous when viewed in isolation, but become ambiguous when read as part of a larger statutory scheme,” must a court “resolve the ambiguity by searching for legislative intent in other indicia, including the history of the legislation or other relevant sources intrinsic and extrinsic to the legislative process.” Id., 412 Md. at 276, 987 A.2d at 29 (citations omitted); Chow v. State, 393 Md. 431, 444, 903 A.2d 388, 395 (2006); Price v. State, 378 Md. 378, 387-88, 835 A.2d 1221, 1226 (2003). To be sure, we have found statutes to be ambiguous if they are subject to “two or more reasonable alternative interpretations....” Price, 378 Md. at 387, 835 A.2d at 1226. That is not the case with CL § 10-606 (a) (3).

CL § 10-606 (a) (3) is unambiguous. It’s plain language provides that “except in the case of self-defense,” a person may not “intentionally inflict bodily harm, permanent disability, or death on an animal owned or used by a law enforcement unit.” We cannot conceive of two reasonable alternative interpretations of this language. It explicitly prohibits actions resulting in three kinds of harm – bodily harm, permanent disability, death – with specific regard to animals both owned, and used, by law enforcement. It was, therefore, unnecessary and, indeed, impermissible for the petitioner to look beyond the language of this statute for guidance, except as confirmation of the plain language.8 See Witte, 369 Md. at 525, 801 A.2d at 165; Toler v. MVA, 373 Md. 214, 220, 817 A.2d 229, 233 (2003); Pelican v. Provident, 381 Md. 327, 336, 849 A.2d 475, 480 (2004). Rather than seek confirmation of his interpretation of § 10-606 (a) (3) from Subtitle 6, Crimes Relating to Animals, the petitioner asks us to look to case law interpreting a wholly separate statute, with a separate purpose, CL § 3-202 (a) (1), for guidance as to the intent the Legislature required for commission of the acts it proscribes. As we have seen, on the basis of our interpretation of that statute, the petitioner asks us to conclude that § 10-606 (a) (3) contemplates a specific intent to inflict harm upon a police animal. We decline to do so, and, because its language is so clear and unequivocal, decline to look beyond § 10-606 (a) (3) for legislative intent.





The petitioner’s contention that § 10-606 (a) (3) requires some specific intent finds no support in the plain statutory language. Indeed, ordinarily, the meaning of a statute cannot CL § 10-602 states the General Assembly’s intention in enacting Subtitle 6, Crimes

Relating to Animals:

“It is the intent of the General Assembly that each animal in the State be

protected from intentional cruelty, including animals that are:

“(1) privately owned;

“(2) strays;

“(3) domesticated;

“(4) feral;

“(5) farm animals;

“(6) corporately or institutionally owned; or “(7) used in privately, locally, State, or federally funded scientific or medical activities.” The General Assembly defined cruelty, as used in the above provision, in CL § 10-601 (c) (1), as “the unnecessary or unjustifiable physical pain or suffering caused or allowed by an act, omission, or neglect,” including “torture and torment.” be gleaned, as the petitioner would have us do, from a comparison of it to an entirely distinct statute which prohibits a completely different crime.

We also reject the petitioner’s application of ejusdem generis to § 10-606 (a) (3) as improper. The Latin phrase literally translates to “of the same kind or class,” and is defined as “[a] canon of construction holding that when a general word or phrase follows a list of specifics, the general word or phrase will be interpreted to include only items of the same class as those listed.” BLACK’S LAW DICTIONARY 594 (9th ed. 2009). This Court has applied

the doctrine of ejusdem generis upon the existence of the following conditions:

“(1) the statute contains an enumeration of specific words; (2) the members of the enumeration suggest a class; (3) the class is not exhausted by the enumeration; (4) a general reference supplementing the enumeration, usually following it; and (5) there is not clearly manifested an intent that the general term be given a broader meaning than the doctrine requires.” Boyle v. Maryland-National Capital Park & Planning Commission, 385 Md. 142, 156, 867 A.2d 1050, 1059 (2005) (quoting In re Wallace W., 333 Md. at 190, 634 A.2d at 55-56). We have also explained that “the doctrine, being only a rule of construction, should not be invoked ‘to restrict the meaning of words within narrower limits than the statute intends, so as to subvert its obvious purpose’” Id. (quoting Blake v. State, 210 Md. 459, 462, 124 A.2d 273, 274 (1956), State Dep’t of Assess. & Tax v. Belcher, 315 Md. 111, 121, 553 A.2d 691, 696 (1989)).

As a rule of construction, ejusdem generis serves as an alternative mechanism through which the court may ascertain the intent of the Legislature. Like the unrelated case law relied upon by the petitioner, however, “it is generally held that the rule of ejusdem generis is merely a rule of construction and is only applicable where legislative intent or language expressing that intent is unclear.” 2A Sutherland Stat. Const. § 47.18, at 200 (7th ed. 2012).

As such, the petitioner’s reliance on this doctrine, too, is premature, and misplaced. As we have already indicated, the intent of the Legislature in enacting § 10-606 (a) (3) is readily apparent in the plain language of the statute, and through its own explicitly stated intention to prohibit the infliction of non-accidental harm to animals, including those used by law enforcement. Indeed, the petitioner can point to no clearly manifested intent, by the Legislature, to the contrary, that the wording,“bodily harm” in actuality means “serious bodily harm.” Finally, we do not believe that § 10-606 (a) (3) prohibits the infliction of only “serious” bodily harm. Narrowing the meaning of “bodily harm,” as the petitioner would have us do, to mean only serious bodily harm, would subvert the statute’s purpose. A longstanding principle of statutory construction provides that “our interpretation of [a] statute and the legislature's intent must be examined by looking to the statutory scheme in its entirety rather than segmenting the statute and analyzing only its individual parts.” Marsheck v.

Board of Trustees of Fire & Police Employees’ Retirement System of City of Baltimore, 358 Md. 393, 403, 749 A.2d 774, 779 (2000); Lockshin, 412 Md. at 275, 987 A.2d at 29;

Anderson v. Council of Unit Owners of Gables on Tuckerman Condominium, 404 Md. 560, 572, 948 A.2d 11, 19 (2008). Indeed, even “the meaning of the plainest language is controlled by the context in which it appears.” Stoddard, 395 Md. at 663, 911 A.2d at 1250 (quoting State v. Pagano, 341 Md. 129, 133, 669 A.2d 1339, 1341 (1996) (internal quotation marks omitted)). Accordingly, instead of “confin[ing] strictly our interpretation of [the] statute’s plain language to the isolated section alone,” we look, as we must, to the statutory scheme as a whole, in our effort to discern legislative intent from it’s language. Lockshin, 412 Md. at 265, 987 A.2d at 29; Johnson v. State, 360 Md. 250, 264, 757 A.2d 796, 804 (2000) (“To prevent illogical or nonsensical interpretations of a [statute], we analyze the [statute] in its entirety, rather than independently construing its subparts.”).

–  –  –

Viewing the above language in its entirety, it becomes clear that the Legislature, by distinguishing, in (a) (3), “animal[s] owned or used by a law enforcement unit” from the general category of “animals” in (a) (1), sought to place a special emphasis on that category.

It is also clear, upon analyzing the language of the subsection as a whole, that the Legislature did so, because it intended to create a lower threshold for violation with regard to this category. This becomes evident upon comparing the kind of harm prohibited under (a) (1) – “intentional[] mutilat[ion], torture, cruel[] beat[ing], or cruel[] kill[ing]” – to the lowest degree of harm prohibited by (a) (3), namely,“bodily harm.” 9 Holding, as the petitioner would have us do, that subsection (a) (3), also, is limited to harm of equal degree as that articulated in (a) (1), would render the specificity of (a) (3) mere surplusage and, thus, unnecessary. This runs afoul of the well-settled and oft-enunciated proposition, that, in conducting statutory interpretation, “whenever possible, a statute should be read so that no word, clause, sentence or phrase is rendered superfluous or nugatory.” Taylor v.

NationsBank, N.A., 365 Md. 166, 181, 776 A.2d 645, 654-55; Whiting-Turner Contracting Co. v. Fitzpatrick, 366 Md. 295, 302, 783 A.2d 667, 671 (2001); Liverpool v. Baltimore Diamond Exchange, Inc., 369 Md. 304, 317, 799 A.2d 1264, 1271 (2002).

We are, likewise, unpersuaded by the petitioner’s contention that he acted in selfdefense when he hit and injured Bennie. The elements of self-defense in Maryland are wellestablished:10 “(1) The accused must have had reasonable grounds to believe himself... in apparent imminent or immediate danger of death or serious bodily harm from his... assailant or potential assailant;

Because there is no attempt to parse or further define “bodily harm,” we must assume that the General Assembly intended that phrase to cover the universe.

Maryland recognizes both perfect and imperfect self-defense. State v. Smullen, 380 Md.

233, 251, 844 A.2d 429, 439 (2004). Perfect self-defense occurs when the belief of danger is subjectively held by the accused and is objectively reasonable, while imperfect self-defense occurs when the actual subjective belief on the part of the accused is not objectively reasonable. Id., 380 Md. at 251–52, 844 A.2d at 439–440 (citing State v. Faulkner, 301 Md.

482, 500, 483 A.2d 759, 768–69 (1984) and Dykes v. State, 391 Md. 206, 211, 571 A.2d 1251, 1254 (1990)) (citations omitted). A common element of both forms of self-defense is that the accused must not have been the aggressor or provoked the conflict. Id., 380 Md. at 252–53, 844 A.2d at 440. Here, we are concerned only with perfect self-defense.

“(2) The accused must have in fact believed himself... in this danger;



Pages:     | 1 | 2 || 4 |


Similar works:

«Fordham International Law Journal Volume 25, Issue 2 2001 Article 1 Promise Unfulfilled: Law, Culture, and Women’s Inheritance Rights in Ghana Jeanmarie Fenrich∗ Tracy E. Higgins† ∗ † Copyright c 2001 by the authors. Fordham International Law Journal is produced by The Berkeley Electronic Press (bepress). http://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/ilj Promise Unfulfilled: Law, Culture, and Women’s Inheritance Rights in Ghana Jeanmarie Fenrich and Tracy E. Higgins Abstract This Report presents...»

«REPORT ON THE 13TH BIENNIAL CONFERENCE OF THE AUSTRALASIAN COUNCIL OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEES (ACPAC) STANDING COMMITTEE PUBLIC ACCOUNTS ON MAY 2015 REPORT 13 REPORT ON THE 13TH BIENNIAL CONFERENCE OF THE AUSTRALASIAN COUNCIL OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEES (ACPAC) COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP Current Members Mr Brendan Smyth MLA Chair from 6 June 2013 Member to 6 June 2013 Ms Mary Porter AM MLA Deputy Chair Ms Nicole Lawder MLA Member from 8 August 2013 Ms Meegan Fitzharris MLA Member from 10...»

«MCLE ON THE WEB ($20 PER CREDIT HOUR) TEST # 67 1 HOUR CREDIT LEGAL ETHICS To earn one hour of MCLE credit in the special category of Legal Ethics, read the substantive material, then download the test, answer the questions and follow the directions to submit for credit. A Lawyer’s Duty Of Candor Zealous representation can lead attorneys down a slippery slope right up to the ethical edge By WENDY PATRICK MAZZARELLA As attorneys, we are obligated to represent our clients to the best of our...»

«SUPERINTENDENT MICHAEL BLAŽEK AND THE PROTESTANT SEALS AROUND THE YEAR 1800 Sixtus Bolom-Kotari The renewed legal existence of Protestant churches within Czech Lands begins with the issue of the Tolerance decree by Emperor and King Joseph II, which was published in the Margraviate of Moravia on October 27, 1781. The Patent gave hitherto secret Protestants the possibility to subscribe to one of two authorised religions: Lutheran and Reformed (also called Helvetic or Calvinist). However, the...»

«Successful Futures Independent Review of Curriculum and Assessment Arrangements in Wales Professor Graham Donaldson CB February 2015 PHOTO REDACTED DUE TO THIRD PARTY RIGHTS OR OTHER LEGAL ISSUES Print ISBN 978 1 4734 3043 3 Digital ISBN 978 1 4734 3044 0 © Crown copyright 2015 WG23258 Illustrations © Scarlet Design International Ltd 2015 Letter to the Minister for Education and Skills 13 January 2015 Dear Minister In March 2014 you asked me to conduct a fundamental Review of Curriculum and...»

«LIBYA, “HOSTILITIES,” THE OFFICE OF LEGAL COUNSEL, AND THE PROCESS OF EXECUTIVE BRANCH LEGAL INTERPRETATION Trevor W. Morrison ∗ The Obama Administration has faced severe criticism for its conclusion that U.S. involvement in the Libya military campaign does not constitute “hostilities” for purposes of the War Powers Resolution 1 (WPR). Under the WPR, the U.S. military may not remain engaged in “hostilities” for more than sixty days without congressional authorization. The Libya...»

«UKRAINIAN
CATHOLIC
WOMEN’S
LEAGUE
 OF
CANADA
 CONSTITUTION
&
BYLAWS
 2013 Printed with the blessing of His Grace Most Rev, Lawrence Huculak, OSBM Archbishop of Winnipeg, Metropolitan for Ukrainian Catholics in Canada 2 FOREWORD UKRAINIAN CATHOLIC WOMEN’S LEAGUE OF CANADA · Was organized nationally June 14, 1944 · Was granted Federal Incorporation June 25, 1980 It was affiliated with: · Ukrainian Canadian Women’s Committee, National Executive as a founding member in...»

«From Today’s City to Tomorrow’s City: An Empirical Investigation of Urban Land Assembly Leah Brooks Research Division Federal Reserve Board of Governors Byron Lutz Research Division Federal Reserve Board of Governors December 2013 Because urban areas are fundamentally constrained by the boundaries of land ownership, economic and technological shocks cannot modify the urban landscape without also changing the delineation of land. In this paper, we ask if urban land markets are capable of...»

«HEC Montréal, Ph.D. Course Corporate Governance: An International Perspective Gouvernance d’entreprise: Une perspective internationale Professeurs/Professors: Jean-Claude Cosset Yujin Jeong Office: 3.460f Office: 3.232 E-mail: jean-claude.cosset@hec.ca E-mail: yujin.jeong@hec.ca Phone: (514) 340-6255 Phone: (514) 340-5626 Description: This course covers and discusses major topics in corporate governance from an international perspective. In the last 30 years, corporate governance has become...»

«REPORT ON TICKET RESELLING AND ARTICLE 25 OF THE ARTS & CULTURAL AFFAIRS LAW NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF STATE 1 COMMERCE PLAZA ALBANY, NEW YORK 12231 518-486-9846 HON. LORRAINE CORTÉS-VÁZQUEZ SECRETARY OF STATE February 1, 2010 INTRODUCTION Pursuant to Chapter 68 of the Laws of 2009, the Department of State (“Department”) submits to the Governor, Temporary President of the Senate, Speaker of the Assembly, and minority leaders of each house of the Legislature the following report...»

«Gender-Based Persecution as a Basis for Asylum: An Annotated Bibliography, 1993–2002* E. Dana Neacsu** Seeking to provide scholars and practitioners with a useful guide to the substantial body of literature that is available on the subject, Ms. Neacsu presents an annotated bibliography of articles published in the past decade that address gender-based persecution as a basis for asylum in the United States. 1 Asylum is an imperfect tool by which to improve one’s living condition when life is...»

«Implementation of the United Nations Convention on the International Sale of Goods and of the system of International Commercial Arbitration in Southeast Europe A report on a GTZ Project, undertaken with the support of United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Partner for the Future. BY APPOINTMENT OF World wide. Prepared in cooperation with the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law. Implementation of the United Nations Convention on the International Sale...»





 
<<  HOME   |    CONTACTS
2017 www.abstract.dislib.info - Abstracts, online materials

Materials of this site are available for review, all rights belong to their respective owners.
If you do not agree with the fact that your material is placed on this site, please, email us, we will within 1-2 business days delete him.