Prosecutors in Baltimore City have started to ask the courts to throw out old convictions that relied on dirty police officers. Starting on October 1, 2019, prosecutors began undoing 790 convictions that they believe are no longer valid. If the courts agree to vacate these convictions, judges will set aside original verdicts, essentially treating convictions as if they never happened. Individuals with cases involving these police officers should be aware of this process and how it may affect them.
The officers are: Thomas Allers, John Clewell, Tariq Edwards, Jason Giordano, Keith Gladstone, Momodu Gondo, Robert Hankard, Evodio Hendrix, Daniel Hersl, Kenneth Ivery, Wayne Jenkins, Jemell Rayam, Matthew Ryckman, Sean Suiter, Michael Sylvester, Marcus Taylor, Carmine Vignola, and Maurice Ward.
This list includes the eight officers convicted in the Gun Trace Task Force scandal. The Gun Trace Task Force scandal involved officers convicted on federal racketeering charges for numerous offenses, including robbing people, conducting illegal searches, lying on court documents to justify arrests, and planting evidence. Also included in the list are three officers who are still working with the Baltimore City Police Department: Robert Hankard, Kenneth Ivery, and Jason Giordano. Only Hankard has been suspended and is not currently working. In fact, Sgt. Ivery’s cases continue to be indicted by prosecutors as recently as October 1, 2019. Individuals with pending cases (or old convictions) involving any of these newly named officers should contact an attorney to determine whether they are entitled to any relief.
There are two important things to keep in mind. First, while a case may have involved one of these officers, that does not guarantee that the prosecutor will move to have the conviction vacated. Thus it is suggested that anyone affected by these officers contact an attorney to review their file.
Second, this move by the prosecutor’s office could also lead to potential civil cases. For civil cases, it is important to be aware that there is a filing deadline once information about a wrongful conviction comes to light. For those who believe they are entitled to a civil remedy, they should reach out to an attorney to ensure that their rights are preserved.