(404) 816-4440

Blog

About Richard Lawson

Georgia Court of Appeals is Okay with Evidence Tampering

Posted by Richard Lawson | May 20, 2014 | 0 Comments

On May 5th, our court of appeals ruled in McMillan v. State, A14A0124, that even though the CUSTODIAN OF THE EVIDENCE admitted to tampering with the evidence, the conviction for cocaine trafficking would stand.

The court held that although evidence custodian (Dee Norris) admitted to stealing confiscated money from the evidence room, her other involvement in the the case (including keeping track of drugs) was good enough for government work.  She was actually on the State's witness list and testified in court.

The court held that she denied tampering with drug evidence and the State could still prove chain of custody even though their custodian was in affect a FELON!

The Georgia Court of Appeals (yes the court of appeals) held that:

To show a chain of custody adequate to preserve the identity of fungible evidence, the State must prove with reasonable certainty that the evidence is the same as that seized and that there has been no tampering or substitution. The State is not required to foreclose every possibility of tampering; it need only show reasonable assurance of the identity of the evidence. We review the trial court's decision on the adequacy of the chain-of-custody evidence under an abuse-of-discretion standard.

So, to sum it up, the State can tamper with evidence and have a felon as the evidence custodian and it's all hunky dory, free of all concern whatsoever.   Wow. I truly wonder if defense counsel decided to put up similar evidence, how quickly the trial judge would rule it inadmissible.  Defense counsel would probably be sanctioned as well.

Dee Norris, a thief, signed for the drugs, initialed the bags as part of the chain of custody, and delivered the drugs to the crime lab.  How in the Hell could the State establish chain of custody when the person bringing the drugs to the crime lab cannot be trusted AT ALL?  THE DRUGS WERE IN HER CUSTODY FOR MORE THAN TWO WEEKS!!!

Okay, I will calm down.  Georgia Courts never cease to amaze me on what legal justifications they can make up out of thin air to assure convictions in criminal cases. If having the evidence custodian be an actual criminal is not enough to throw out a case, then what is enough?

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Richard Lawson has devoted his entire career to DUI Defense. He exclusively handles DUI Cases. As a former DUI Prosecutor he knows both sides of your case. Put his experience to work for you. You only have 10 days to protect your right to drive. Call now for immediate attention. We are available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.

Comments

There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

Choosing the Best DUI Lawyer

Richard-lawson-logo

When you are arrested for DUI in Georgia, finding the right Lawyer is Job #1. At the Law Offices of Richard S. Lawson we will investigate your case and find the best possible legal defense to your DUI in Georgia. You are in good hands with Richard Lawson and his associates. We will work tirelessly to help you while compassionately holding your hand throughout the entire DUI Defense Process.

Georgia DUI Defense Attorneys

At the Law Office of Richard S. Lawson, we have offices conveniently located throughout metro Atlanta and throughout Georgia. If we do not have a convenient office, we will come to you. We practice throughout Metro Atlanta and North Georgia. If your case is in an area we do not serve, we will find you an attorney in your area free of charge. Our office is part of a State-wide network of Georgia DUI Lawyers. Contact us 24/7 for immediate legal help. Our attorneys are standing by. Your DUI Case will not defend itself. Your Best Georgia DUI Defense Begins Here!