MARYLAND

Gansler urges overturn right of arrestees right to counsel at bail hearings

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Attorney General Douglas Gansler is urging Maryland's top court to overturn its decision that arrestees have a right to counsel at initial bail hearings.

The Daily Record reports (http://bit.ly/N9HjaF ) that Gansler argues in papers filed Tuesday with the Court of Appeals that the court was wrong to hold that the due-process provision in Maryland's constitution requires defendants to be provided counsel at this pre-trial stage.

He says liberty is not directly at stake in an initial hearing, as it is in a bail review hearing before a judge and at trial, when counsel is constitutionally mandated, he added.

Next month, the high court will hear the state's arguments that a Baltimore judge, citing the high court's ruling, improperly ordered that attorneys be provided for indigent defendants at initial bail hearings.

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