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Part One: Officer Credibility on Trial in Drug Cases, Rightly So

A recent article published in The Baltimore Sun brings up a critical issue when it comes to how certain cases are handled in the state's court system. The piece followed the past several years of a Baltimore police officer and how his past with one Maryland drug possession case affects his credibility in other cases.

This is the first of two posts that give an overview of the court system and this one officer's professional struggle.

Professional hardship due to past blunders made in court and in the field is bad news for the officer and others like him whose reputations have been compromised. But for drug crime defendants, this reality of the court system allows them a fair shot at justice.

The credibility of witnesses is important to test during a trial, as determining whether their accounts of alleged crimes are true largely depends on whether the person testifying is trustworthy.

Take the one officer covered in The Baltimore Times piece, for example. In 2003, he testified in court as part of the prosecution's attempt to get a defendant convicted of drug possession. When his trial testimony did not match his initial report of what led to the drug arrest in question, a judge ridiculed the officer's behavior, therefore, crushing his credibility.

Due to the officer's faulty testimony, the drug charges were dropped. Find out how that old case has followed the officer into the present and worked in favor of a drug crime defense attorney and his client.

Source

The Baltimore Sun: "Crime Scenes: Police Integrity at issue in drug arrest," Peter Hermann, 18 Dec. 2010

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