17 November 2005

Don't Break the Law?
Go Directly to Jail

She had drugs which weren't illegal - so she got a year in jail.

Nobody caught it.

Thanks to MD for the heads up.


Anonymous said...

So why is that judge still a judge?

Anonymous said...

I hope she sues and wins a large sum. The police regularly set themselve up as "experts" on a wide variety of things about which they often have only a passing layman's knowledge. People go to jail because of this.

Ken Lammers said...


It's not really fair to point at the judge here. He probably had a docket with 30 cases that day and spent all of 5 minutes with the lady in front of him pleading guilty. He looked down, the warrant stated the drug was illegal, the prosecutor and defenses attorney agreed with the warrant and the lady was convicted. There was nothing to make him think anything was amiss.

Go look at your State's list of drugs by schedule. Some of the list is easy to understand while other parts require a chemistry degree. Both the prosecutor and the defense attorney should have checked to make sure the drug was prohibited per the schedule. Nobody did. To expect the judge to know an assertion undenied that the unknown drug is illegal per the schedule is unrealistic.

No, sad as it is to say, the burden of failure here falls upon the prosecutor and the defense attorney - both of whom should have checked to see what this unknown drug was.

SeƱor Limpio said...

can you sue public defenders for malpractice?

Lawyer Dad said...

Here's what i can't figure out - o.k., so the attorneys involved were professionally negligent or even reckless, and they didn't read the schedules (which are quite tough - e.g. even if the drug is a component)... but the article says, "Isaac pleaded guilty last year to possession of Buspirone, which she had obtained through a prescription." If she OBTAINED the drug through a prescription, how can she be charged with or convicted of PCS?

Ken Lammers said...

Sadly, I can see both of these things happening.

The charge is simple. Officer finds drug on her, thinks it is something illegal (which apparently this drug is without a prescription), arrests her, and sends the pills of to the lab to get analyzed.

And I wish I had a dollar for every time a client told me he had a prescription for X but couldn't provide it or the doctor's name or the pharmacy. Assuming this lady even told her PD (the root of her problems appearing to be mental), it's not too hard to picture a PD who has heard the same story from 6 people this week, none of whom has even given him a way to start investigating, and a judge who isn't going to continue the case.