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IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS OF PHILADELPHIA COUNTY

CRIMINAL SECTION - TRIAL DIVISION

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA : CP-51-CR-011614-2007

v. :

Robert Williams :

COMMONWEALTH'S RESPONSE TO PETITIONER’S “MOTION FOR STAY


AND BAIL PENDING CONSIDERATION FOR POST-CONVICTION RELIEF”

TO THE HONORABLE GENECE E. BRINKLEY, JUDGE OF THE SAID COURT:

The Commonwealth hereby responds to Petitioner’s “Motion for Stay and for

Bail Pending Consideration of Petition for Post-Conviction Relief” filed on February 14,

2018 and avers the following in support thereof:

1. On August 9, 2008 this Court found Petitioner guilty of the following

offenses: Violation of the Uniform Firearms Act §§ 6106 (F3) and


6108(M1), Carrying a Loaded Weapon (S), Possession of an Instrument

of Crime (M1), Possession with Intent to Deliver (F), Simple Possession

(M) and Simple Assault (M2). He was sentenced in the aggregate to 11 ½-


23 months confinement followed by 10 years probation. After parole,

three subsequent violation hearings took place.

2. At the final hearing, on November 6, 2017, this Court found Petitioner to

be in violation of probation and sentenced him to 2-4 years incarceration,

a sentence he has been serving for over four months. At that hearing the

Commonwealth did not request that a violation be found, or that a


sentence of incarceration be given.

3. Petitioner subsequently filed a series of post-sentence motions and a

Notice of Appeal to the Superior Court. On February 14, 2018 Petitioner


filed for relief pursuant to the Post-Conviction Relief Act, alleging newly

discovered evidence.

4. The administration of the current District Attorney’s Office has a policy to

determine its response to motions for bail pending appeal and/or post-

conviction relief. Pursuant to this policy, a variety of factors are

considered in determining whether or not to oppose such a motion,

including: 1) the merits of Petitioner’s underlying claim, including

conviction integrity issues; 2) how the sentence imposed compares to the

current administration’s sentencing policies.

5. Addressing the merits of the P.C.R.A. claim, it is alleged that Police

Officer Reginald Graham provided false testimony at Petitioner’s trial. As

Officer Graham was the only witness called at trial and was the affiant on

a search warrant which produced evidence against Petitioner, his veracity

is essential to the Commonwealth’s prosecution in this matter.

6. In support of his claim, Petitioner has submitted 2 affidavits from other

officers alleging that Officer Graham repeatedly engaged in misconduct,

including lying, both in general and specifically in Petitioner’s case. Both

affiants have been incarcerated for crimes committed while working in

law enforcement. Officer Walker was also credited by the United States

Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and a federal

judge with having been truthful in admitting his own corrupt practices and

cooperating against other police corruption. Officer Walker’s information

against other officers has already resulted in reversals of hundreds of

convictions obtained by him and other officers during the Narcotics Field

Unit scandal. The Commonwealth is not in a position to accept or reject

the allegations contained in these affidavits at this time.

7. The District Attorney’s Office, prior to 2018, maintained a list of officers

whose credibility was in question. Officer Graham was included in that

list. On March 5, 2018, pursuant to an order entered by Hon. Tracy


Brandeis-Roman, Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia,

the Commonwealth produced this list to the Defender Association of

Philadelphia in reference to other cases. The Commonwealth confirmed

on March 8, 2018 to Petitioner’s counsel, that Officer Graham is on the

list which was maintained by the previous administration of the District

Attorney’s Office. Therefore at some point prior to 2018, the

Commonwealth became aware of some issues or conduct bearing on the

credibility of Officer Graham. The Commonwealth notes that violation

hearings have taken place in Petitioner’s matter during the time period of

the list’s existence, yet there is no indication this material was timely

given to the Court or Petitioner.

8. Addressing the sentence imposed, the Commonwealth assesses this factor

in light of the District Attorney’s Office’s current policy with respect to

requesting sentences for technical violations of probation and parole.

Pursuant to this policy, the Commonwealth will not request a sentence of

more than 6-12 months for a technical violation, absent special

circumstances. It is reasonably certain that Petitioner’s P.C.R.A. claim

will not be decided within 6 months of the date of his confinement in this

violation of probation matter, which began on November 6, 2017.

9. Obviously, the current District Attorney’s Office and this Court are

presented with new and important information relating to the integrity of

the original conviction that this Court could not have known at trial or at

any subsequent violation hearing because the prior District Attorney’s

Office did not provide it to Petitioner or to the Court. In addition, the

Court’s determinations at prior proceedings were made without hearing

the current District Attorney’s Office policy.

10. Petitioner’s total incarceration in this matter includes over two years in

custody or on house arrest to date. In the event Petitioner’s conviction is

reversed (in whole or in part) as a result of post-conviction proceedings,


the risk of an unjust or disproportionate sentence having been served

exists. That risk increases as long as Petitioner remains in custody.

Especially in light of the history of hundreds of convictions already

having been reversed based on information provided by Officer Walker,

there is a strong showing of likelihood of Petitioner’s conviction being

reversed (in whole or in part).

11. This response does not concede any issue with respect to Petitioner’s

P.C.R.A. petition, direct appeal, or any other motion, nor does it concede

any issues of admissibility of evidence. This response is based solely on

an assessment of Petitioner’s P.C.R.A claim filed on February 14, 2018

pursuant to the District Attorney’s policy, and not on any previous petition

or motion filed.

WHEREFORE, the Commonwealth is unopposed to Petitioner’s “Motion for

Stay and for Bail Pending Consideration of Petition for Post-Conviction Relief.”

Respectfully submitted,

____ _/s/_______________
Liam J. Riley, Esq.
Senior Policy Counsel
Office of the District Attorney
VERIFICATION

I, the undersigned, hereby verify that the facts set forth in the foregoing response

are true and correct to the best of my knowledge, information, and belief. This

verification is made subject to the penalties for unsworn falsification to authorities

provided in 18 Pa.C.S. §4904.

Date: _____3/14/18___________
_________/s/__ ___
Liam J. Riley, Esq.
Assistant District Attorney