Twenty-one guards at the now-closed Maryland House of Correction were implicated in contraband smuggling and other corrupt activities in police reports given to defense lawyers for two inmates accused of killing a corrections officer, reports the Baltimore Sun. The allegations of widespread corruption were made yesterday at a hearing as defense lawyers argued that the state should be forced to provide them with personnel and disciplinary records of the corrections officers.
Mary Jo Livingston, an attorney for one of two inmates accused of killing Officer David McGuinn, said the 21 guards were named by state police investigating McGuinn’s death. She said the integrity and credibility of the corrections officers is important to the defense’s case because the officers controlled the crime scene at the prison before state police arrived to investigate McGuinn’s death. A spokesman for the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services sais that Gov. Martin O’Malley’s administration “took decisive action to close the prison and has made it a priority to step up staff security and contraband interdiction efforts across the system.”