Saturday, February 17, 2007

POLICE: How many more false arrests?

Recently, I filed a Habeas Corpus to have one of my client's drug conviction vacated. It was one of those rare moments when justice came a bit later than expected.

Last September, my client pled guilty to felony drug possession. At the time, he was on a dual probation for possession and a stolen vehicle. The odds were that he was going to be revoked on his probation because of the new pending charge. Thanks to support from fellow veterans and some leg work to arrange for drug treatment, the Court agreed to probation on the new case to go along with his current probation. At the time, my client neglected to tell me some key points about his arrest, opting to accept any plea to remain on probation.

About two months later, I was contacted by the District Attorney's office about my client. Apparently, he had been writing letters to Internal Affairs of the police department and was raising some issues on the police stop and detention prior to his plea. The officer allegedly lied and confiscated some evidence. When an investigation was referred to the District Attorney as credible, I was contacted and then filed the Habeas.

Why my client didn't raise these questions with me prior to his plea other than to avoid jeapardizing probation, I'll never know. But, I do give the District Attorney much credit for wanting to right a wrong. The troubling question is: How many more wrongful convictions are there out there and will bad cops ever be purged from the ranks of the respected?

1 comment:

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