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jadedog  ·  918 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: How a $2 roadside drug test sends innocent people to jail

    You're forgetting that she only briefly knew the guy and was scared that there was a chance it was drugs. She took the plea bargain instead of taking the chance on this guy. Even if she had the information she would still be taking a gamble not taking it.

No, I'm not forgetting that the test could show a positive result. From a previous comment I made.

    However, in this particular case, there's no other evidence except a roadside drug test that has been deemed inadmissible as the sole evidence for conviction at a trial. If there was a lab test that corroborated that roadside drug test, that's a different thing. My only point was that if she had known that, she could have gotten a lab test before she made her decision to accept the plea bargain or not.

My suggestion was to request a lab test, NOT to reject the plea bargain. If the plea bargain was contingent on not getting a lab test, she might still have grounds to sue since she wouldn't have been able to defend herself at a trial without that evidence.

    The author brought our attention to this practice because they think it's wrong. They didn't propose a solution but you really think they just brought it up for some light reading ? It should bother you that this is how your justice system works and it should make people want change. IMO the author underestimated the apathy of Americans.

Maybe the Americans are too busy with their multiple minimum wage jobs to fight the system.

It's also quite likely that there isn't a simple solution to this problem. If roadside tests are eliminated, that defaults judgment back to police officers at the scene. That's a more biased and fallible system. If all roadside tests are double-tested with lab tests, that adds expense and time to the system. It's possible that a solution might be to inform anyone who is making a plea bargain decision that they have a right to a lab test. It's likely that someone will need to sue to get that put into practice. In order for someone to sue, they would need to have been affected. In order to have been affected, they would have needed to have requested a test, been denied and been negatively affected.

Maybe the author wanted someone reading the article to become the first test case to change the system by taking my moral of the story to heart.

Putting aside what I should be bothered by, why are you bothered by a flaw in a justice system that you're not subject to?

    This isn't the only way your justice system can screw you over and knowing about this one thing won't protect you. This is just one of the many ways poor people get screwed by the system because those court appointed attorneys don't have time to give a shit. You can't possible know ever single way to be screwed over and that's why you have a lawyer. That's their job.

From a previous comment I made.

    As to the rest of your comments about how the justice system should be set up to be more egalitarian, that sounds very idealistic. In capitalist countries (or life in general really), the wealthy often have more advantages.

In this case, since the woman is already in the hypotherical position using her as an example, as you've noted, the court appointed attorney might not have time and she might not have the money for another attorney, it would help her if she knew she could ask for a lab test that could exonerate her.