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Griffin v. State

Maryland Court of Appeals
19 A.3d 415 (2011)


Facts

Antoine Levar Griffin (defendant) was charged with murdering Darvell Guest at a bar. At trial, the prosecution sought to introduce the MySpace page allegedly belonging to Griffin’s girlfriend, Jessica Barber, to demonstrate that Barber had threatened a witness prior to Griffin’s trial. The MySpace profile contained the phrase, “Free Boozy!!!! Just Remember Snitches Get Stitches!! U Know Who You Are!!” Also, the profile page did not contain Barber’s name, only a photograph that resembled her and Griffin hugging. When the prosecution called Barber to testify, they failed to ask her whether the MySpace page was hers. Instead, the prosecution attempted to authenticate the MySpace profile as belonging to Barber through the testimony of lead investigator Sergeant John Cook. Defense counsel objected to Cook’s testimony and argued that the prosecution could not establish a connection between the profile and Barber. The trial court allowed the testimony to be admitted. Griffin was convicted and he appealed. The court of special appeals affirmed Griffin’s conviction. The Maryland Court of Appeals granted certiorari to review.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Battaglia, J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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Dissent (Harrell, J.)

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