Tag Archives: Washington State

Washington Supreme Court Grants a New Trial to a Death Row Inmate

The Supreme Court of the State of Washington handed down this morning a decision to grant a new trial to a death row inmate, Darold Stenson.   Read: In re PRP of Darold Stenson.

Stenson raised a due process claim based on alleged violations of  Brady v. Maryland. The Court held that the State violated Stenson’s rights under the mandates of Brady and its progeny, and it reversed his aggravated first degree murder conviction as well as the sentence of death and remanded for a new trial. Read the news here.

Excerpt:  Stenson, convicted in the 1993 slayings of his wife and business partner, is due a new trial because prosecutors failed to share evidence with his attorneys prior to trial, the eight-justice majority ruled.

Stenson will not be released following Thursday’s decision, which was authored by Justice Gerry Alexander. He is expected to face a second trial in Clallam County.

“We are left with the fact that constitutionally significant mistakes were made in Stenson’s trial, resulting in imposition of the ultimate punishment without the full benefit of due process protections,” Alexander wrote in the majority opinion. “The question here is not whether Stenson has proved his innocence.” ….

A New Decision by the Washington Supreme Court Regarding the Admissibility of a Confession

Though a very disappointing one.

It will make the admission of confessions obtained during police interrogations easier.

At least the Dissent excellently points out the problematic issues surrounding confessions obtained at police interrogations…

Washington v. Abdulle (Filed May 3, 2012)

Summary by Justia:

The Supreme Court granted the State’s petition to review a decision of the Court of Appeals which reversed Respondent Yussuf Abdulle’s first degree theft and forgery convictions based on “Washington v. Davis” (438 P.2d 185 (1968)). Continue reading