Kazadi v. StateAnnotate this Case
The Court of Appeals reversed the judgment of the court of special appeals affirming Defendant's conviction of first-degree murder and other offenses, holding that this Court's holding as to voir dire questions in Twining v. State, 198 A.2d 291 (Md. 1964), is based on outdated reasoning and has been superseded by significant changes in the law and is hereby overruled.
In this case, Defendant requested, unsuccessfully, that the circuit court ask during voir dire whether any prospective jurors were unwilling or unable to follow jury instructions on the presumption of innocence, the burden of proof, and the defendant's right to testify. The Court of Appeals held (1) to the extent the Court of Appeals held in Twining that it is inappropriate to ask on voir dire questions concerning the presumption of innocence, the burden of proof, and a defendant's right to remain silent, the holding in Twining is overruled; (2) on request, during voir dire, a trial court may ask the questions at issue; and (3) absent additional circumstances, the status of a State's witness as an undocumented immigrant, or the existence of a deportation order applicable to the witness, do not show the character of the witness for untruthfulness or demonstrate a motive to testify falsely.