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Jury Duty: A Day in the Life of Our Corrupt War on Drugs

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Via DrugWarRant, Michael Hawkins blogs the incredible story of his participation on the jury in a major drug case (read it, seriously). It's a familiar tale of prosecutors going after everyone in sight:

When the defendant's brother [convicted in a separate case] took the chair, the first words out of his mouth were, "I don't know why they went after my brother. He had nothing to do with any of it."
The government's total evidence against the defendant -- who was shown to be a hard-working construction worker who has not missed a day's work in eleven years -- consisted of the following: seven calls (out of over 65,000), over a two-day period, from the defendant's cellphone to one of the drug runners' phones; and the fact that the blue Honda Passport was registered to the defendant. Through skillful questioning, the defense lawyer showed how the defendant's brother frequently "borrowed" the defendant's car, and that the defendant frequently left his cellphone in the car, attached to a charger.

Hawkins theorizes that the guilty brother's refusal to identify key associates motivated prosecutors to target the other sibling, despite his apparent innocence. The jury figured it out, and justice was served. So the system works, I guess, if you don't mind prosecutors wasting your tax dollars on cases that should never have gone to trial in the first place.

This is hardly the first time a frustrated prosecutor has sought to make an example of someone who merely lived an innocent life adjacent to the criminality of others. Trophy prosecutions are an inevitable byproduct of the drug warriors' insatiable lust for headlines and elusive "victories." Meanwhile, innocence places drug defendants in a unique predicament because they have no information to barter in exchange for leniency.

Who among the great drug warrior army will stand up for the innocent victims in this glorious battle of good vs. evil? There are no words to describe the callousness of those who advocate blind sentencing in the war on drugs, while simultaneously casting an ever widening net that will so inevitably capture bystanders and pawns.

United States
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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Innocent bystanders

I, too, realize the effect of "drug warriors" when the task force, questioning my wife, tried to pin her behavior, on me! I guess because I had initials behind my name, they thought I was a bigger fish. The fact is, I had nothing to do with my wife, going behind my back, to perform illegal behavior. Luckily, my wife and I are in good standing, so she would not snitch (essentially, fabricate a lie) to get a lower charge! How often is this really going on!?!?! And how many people are not IN LOVE with the person, they want to get the snitch to create a lie on!? I think it is a very good idea that Congress is looking in on the "drug warriors" attempts to get convictions on the basis of the testimony of "informants". All I can say is, the cops are acting like criminals!

Federal grand jury

I served on the fed grand jury once. Whenever a drug case came up where there was no harm done by the "crime". myself and one other would always vote not guilty. They would look at us funny, but could do nothing. i guess the irony would be a snitch testified to a grand jury that i was growing marijuana. The person , guilty of multiple counts of grand larson as well as other convictions told many lies to get the warrent the fuckers wanted. what a racket. The ass whole had his records cleaned from the public in both maine and florida. must be a federal butt buddy now. Maybe I'll be back to post all his information i got from a public record search site. later

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