Child rapist wants judge to close loophole to overturning his sentence
Convicted child rapist John Joseph Merzbacher has filed an appeal to close a loophole in a recent court ruling that requires he be given a fresh chance at freedom, despite his four life sentences, The Sun's Tricia Bishop reports.
On July 30, federal court judge Andre M. Davis ordered that a court must now offer Merzbacher a 10-year plea deal that his attorneys never properly presented before his 1995 trial, violating his constitutional rights. But Davis added one seeming caveat that has Merzbacher nervous.
"Before Merzbacher gains full relief, a judge of the [Baltimore] circuit court must express a willingness to carry out the undertaking," Davis wrote in a memorandum opinion accompanying his order.
In a notice filed last week, Merzbacher said he intends to appeal that provision "to the extent that it states or implies that a judge … [has] the discretion not to approve the plea agreement."