Over at the StoptheDrugWar.org investigative journalist Clarence Walker has an interesting story of how a corrupt cop conspired with a judge to plant drugs on a woman. The whole article is worth reading:
“This C.J. guy confessed to me and Garmley that Judge Cochran paid him money to plant the drugs on Garmley’s vehicle,” Poston told the Chronicle. “She told both me and GBI investigators that on the night prior to her arrest, C.J. came by her house around 1:30am acting strange, asking Garmley if her father, who no longer lived with her, wanted to trade off his guitar. Mrs. Garmley said as C.J. talked, she noticed him watching her cell phone, but she moved it. C.J. said the judge told him that if he got ahold of Garmley’s phone that he would get paid more, particularly because Garmley had the judge’s phone number and text messages.”
Realizing that his cell phone log could be subpoenaed regardless of whether his messages were deleted, Greeson finally cracked, telling investigators that Henderson had asked him to pull the drug-planted car over and to keep quiet about it.
This story highlights one of the main problems of the drug war that doesn’t get much attention.
For most serious crimes that carry long prison sentences like rape, murder, grand theft, arson, etc… it is fairly difficult to frame a person. To begin with, a crime must be committed against another person. So you need to either commit the crime yourself or tamper with the evidence in a way that would let the real criminal go free. You also need to make sure the person you are framing won’t have an alibi.
The drug war, though, makes it frighteningly easy to frame someone for a serious drug crime. Harsh drug possession laws are almost unique in this regard. All you need to do is plant a relatively small bag of powder on a person or their property to basically guarantee a felony conviction.
There is no way to reliably know how often this situation has been abused, but this story proves it is does sometimes happen.
Photo by Nightlife Of Revelry under Creative Commons license