4/10/08

A small amount of marijuana and a cell phone were found in a book hidden on top of a locker between the locker and a bed in a multi-bed prison cell. Because the locker was the defendantís, he was charged with the possession of the marijuana.

At trial, the defense brought out that there were 44 other inmates that lived in that cell and had access to that location. The defense argued there was no evidence that the book even belonged to the Defendant. The officers failed to perform any checks on the cell phone, such as calling previously called numbers, in order to determine who owned the cell phone.

Without some connection between the drugs and the defendant other than its discovery in an accessible location by all 44 inmates, the defense argued that there was no way to know who put the items on the locker. Without knowing who put the items there, there would be no way to make sure the right person was being charged (a concept called Equal Access). The jury seemed to agree, as it only took them 6 minutes to acquit the Defendant.