Are "Brady Cop" Qualifications changing in WA State?
March 25, 2017
Dear Clark County Prosecutors:
Recent articles published in the Columbian Newspaper state the following in part:
September 14, 2016
Prosecutors statewide are scratching their heads after the Washington Court of Appeals overturned a local criminal case, muddying the waters for what type of police misconduct can be brought up during a defendant's trial.
The court found last week that the Clark County Prosecuting Attorney's Office in 2009 did not provide evidence the defense could have used to potentially discredit a testifying police officer - known in the courts as a Brady violation.
Prokop, Jessica. "Policies in Doubt over Overturned Conviction." The Columbian (Vancouver, WA). McClatchy-Tribune Information Services. 2016. HighBeam Research. 24 Mar. 2017 <https://www.highbeam.com>.Vancouver Man Gets New Trial Date
November 16, 2016
A Vancouver man whose convictions in a 2008 shooting were overturned, after the Washington Court of Appeals found that his rights to a fair trial were potentially violated, was back in Clark County Superior Court on Friday to receive a new trial date.
The state appeals court in September overturned Lester Juan Griffin Jr.'s convictions for first-degree burglary and first- degree assault, for which he had been sentenced to a 24-year prison term.
In Griffin's post-appeal petition, the court found that the Clark County Prosecuting Attorney's Office failed to provide evidence the defense could have used to potentially discredit a testifying police officer - known in the courts as a Brady violation. …
Prokop, Jessica. "Vancouver Man Gets New Trial Date." The Columbian (Vancouver, WA). McClatchy-Tribune Information Services. 2016. HighBeam Research. 24 Mar. 2017 <https://www.highbeam.com>.
Having studied Clark County’s “State of Washington v. Lester Juan Griffin” case including appeal [as released in public record and Online], it seems that the September 2016 decision of COA II reflects a requirement to look at police officers who testify in court cases –as far as their “Brady” status—in a different light. Officer Jeff Wilken, for example, had three pending Internal Affairs investigations during the same time he testified for the State in the Griffin trial, yet no Brady information was provided. This was determined to be in error according to the COA ruling.
Further, according to the same COA II decision, Wilken’s testimony was used to “rehabilitate” the testimony of other witnesses throughout the litigation of that case. Again, this was determined to have been inappropriate, especially in light of the circumstances mentioned above.
I have read Clark County’s PID policy carefully, and I am requesting clarification about how these circumstances, and in particular the COA II ruling in the Griffin case, is being taken into account in relation to the Clark County’s Brady policy. Officer Sandra Aldridge of the Vancouver Police Department should not, according to the recent COA II ruling, be testifying in court cases without notice made to both prosecution and defense regarding her potential “BRADY” status.
In addition, recent information obtained through public records disclosure indicates that Detective Sandra Aldridge is a strong candidate for Clark County’s existing Brady List. What is the process for initiation of a “Brady” review regarding police officers called to testify by the State, who are often used to rehabilitate the testimony of other witnesses, and who frequently have been, and continue to be, under Internal Affairs investigation by their own Department?
Thank you for information you are able to provide regarding applicability and/or adjustment to policy and procedure since the COA II ruling in State v. Lester Juan Griffin, as well as clarification of how an officer whose conduct is consistently in question may be considered for a Brady review.
Concerned resident and citizen of Clark County, Vancouver, WA
Sample: Detective Aldridge "REHABILITATES" the testimony of her supervisor, Sgt. Andy Hamlin during Garrett's Smith's bench trial leading to a wrongful conviction in December of 2014. Aldridge sat next to the Prosecutor for the entire trial and was privy to all testimony from both sides. She was called back to the stand more times throughout the 3-day trial than any other witness for prosecution or defense. Aldridge was the only witness that took the stand all 3 days of the trial.
Important note: Through public records disclosure of a recorded deposition with key State's witness, SKYLAR WILLIAMS [exculpatory evidence obtained post conviction], it was verified that Detective Aldridge was at the hospital hours after the incident [June 3rd, NOT June 5th] just as her supervisor testified in the video below. Aldridge took great pains to distance herself [fraudulently], by several days, from involvement with Sheryl Cresap-Smith, Garrett's wife and accuser, at the early stages of the case against John Garrett Smith.