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comment by jadedog
jadedog  ·  884 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: How a $2 roadside drug test sends innocent people to jail

    There's no guarantee that the same deal would still be on the table after the drug test, especially if it's positive and strengthens the prosecutions case.

I went back to read the article and found that I missed a couple things in the article.

She actually didn't have to ask for a lab test. They offered one to her, if her court appointed lawyer is to be believed. He says that the prosecutors offered her deferred adjudication, which would have allowed her to get the lab test and might have allowed her to decide on the plea bargain outside of jail.

    In fact, Richardson, Albritton's original court-appointed lawyer, says the prosecutor offered her a deferred adjudication, in which she may have been able to wait for the results of a lab test outside the walls of a jail cell. Richardson, who first said he had no memory of their conversations, says he told her about the offer but she refused it. Albritton says she has never heard of anything called deferred adjudication. Neither could explain what actually happened.

The woman in the case has already done what I would have suggested which is to consult an attorney to bring legal action against the court appointed attorney and/or the government.

    People plead guilty when they’re innocent because they see no alternative. People who have just been arrested usually don’t know their options, or even that they have an option. “There’s a fail-safe in there, and it’s called the defense lawyer,” says Rick Werstein, the attorney now representing Albritton as she seeks to finalize her exoneration. Defense lawyers can demand a lab analysis, and they exist to help defendants navigate the consequences of the jail time while they wait, even as they explain the even higher costs of a felony conviction. They are fully authorized to pursue alternative deals.

    So far, we have been unable find anyone who pleaded guilty based on field-test results and later filed suit, though Werstein said he and Albritton are considering their additional legal options.

Other people have already asserted their rights and sued based on inaccurate field tests.

    In the past three years, people arrested based on false-positive field tests have filed civil lawsuits in Sullivan County, Tenn.; Lehigh County, Pa.; Atlanta, Ga.; and San Diego, Calif. Three of the four cases also named the manufacturers Safari­land Group or Sirchie as defendants. Three of the cases have already been settled.

    It's to expensive to make sure innocent people (as in the government has no actual evidence you committed a crime) aren't going to trial or prison ? There is really no surprise America has the highest level of incarceration in the developed world. Your government gathering legitimate evidence against you before charging you with a crime shouldn't be something that's to expensive to do. It should be the baseline.

It's expensive both on the part of the government but also on the part of the accused.

    The labs issue reports in about two weeks, but defendants typically wait three weeks before they can see a judge — enough time to lose a job, lose an apartment, lose everything.

The high rates of incarceration in the US has a much broader history than this case and really isn't much related.

    This isn't about being in an egalitarian society, the right to counsel is in the sixth amendment but everybody is to busy fussing over the 1st and 2nd I guess they haven't got that far yet. Or quite frankly don't care that the counsel people recive is insufficient because they never see themselves in that position. It's not that the court appointed attorney "might not have time" it's that he didn't. Watch the episode I told you about and you'll understand that if you ever need one they won't have time either.

The woman in the article had both court appointed counsel and separate legal counsel to help her with her exoneration and to seek redress against her court appointed counsel if necessary.

Despite your predictions, she was able to obtain legal counsel on her budget with the time available to her.