Friday, March 26, 2004
Indiana's Liberal Judges Promoting Drug Use By Limiting Police Tactics
In 2002, a Honda Prelude speeded through the town of Prospect, Indiana. The car was stopped for speeding, a drug sniffing dog was on the scene, and the Prelude's passenger was found to be in possession of cocaine. Now the passenger will beat the rap, however, as a three-judge appeals court panel will not allow the seized cocaine to be used in the prosecution.
The judges attempted to justify their leniency by seizing upon a technicality. Seems that the driver of the car was an informant for the police -- so much the better, right? He arranged with the cops to speed through Prospect on purpose, so that they could stop his car, and uncover the cocaine that the informant knew his passenger was carrying. OK, so you don't like to encourage speeding, but when you make an omelette, you have to break some eggs, and a little speeding is no big deal. Oh, there is this one further detail: when the driver arranged the sting with the state trooper, seems he mentioned to the officer that he (the driver) had been drinking all day and was on cocaine himself. But the officer did the only reasonable thing and went ahead with the speeding plan. And now the cloud-cuckoo, don't-live-in-the-real-world judges have put the kabosh on the prosecution. Read all about it here.
One more detail that the judges noted as they cast about for any legal thread upon which to squash the case: the driver/informant was on home detention at the time -- a fact known by at least one of the officers involved -- and, technically speaking, should not have been allowed out to take part in the brilliantly conceived sting operation.