Over Half of Baltimore’s Homicide and Non-Fatal Shooting Trials Reach Guilty Verdicts

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The results of its continually decreasing backlog are beginning to emerge in the Baltimore City Circuit Court, where nearly 58 percent of all completed homicide and non-fatal shooting trials since mid-2021 ended with guilty verdicts.

Baltimore Witness has reported 111 trials since July 2021, including jury trials before a 12-peer panel and bench trials before a presiding judge. Approximately 78.4 percent of these trials reached verdicts, while the remaining 21.6 percent concluded under other circumstances.

More than half of the circuit court’s incomplete trials were mistrials, according to Baltimore Witness data. Mistrials can be granted for several reasons; however, the most common reason is due to a hung jury—a jury that is unable to agree on a verdict.

Seven out of the 24 incomplete trials, approximately 29 percent, had cases dismissed. Reasons behind a case’s dismissal include lack of evidence, the prosecution’s inability to contact victims and/or witnesses, as well as unspecified reasons from the judge.

Additional trials ended with plea agreements, postponements, and granted motions to acquit.

The bulk of completed trials were for homicide cases, nearly half of which had guilty verdicts. Out of the 21 non-fatal shooting trials, the majority concluded with not guilty verdicts.

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