Law Offices of Jess C. Bedore III - Certified Specialist in Criminal Law
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Ruined evidence leads to man's release -- two years too late

While the following story didn't occur here in California, it does highlight an important aspect of the criminal process, and how the accused person can be unfairly penalized -- even after his or her name seems to be cleared.

We are referring to tainted evidence, and that, sometimes, prosecutors or district attorney are unwilling to fully release such information -- and thus going against the law -- simply because they don't want the defendant to be let go. Of course, if the prosecutor was in the prisoner's shoes, the prosecutor would probably like that benefit.

In a sad case from Texas, thousands of criminal cases were botched because of tainted or destroyed evidence. For one man, this meant that he toiled for prison far longer than he needed to -- even after prosecutors learned about the tainted evidence. The 29-year-old should have been set free, but instead he spent another two years in prison.

Now that man is filing a lawsuit against multiple parties involved in this apparent cover-up.

It's a very unfortunate story, and you can read the whole thing via our source article link. Again, this story is meant more as a reminder that the police aren't always perfect, and less as a way that someone could "get off easy" from a criminal charge. There are instances where the police botch an investigation, or the testing facility in charge of a drug case ruins the evidence. When this happens, the people accused of committing a crime could have the charges against them dropped.

Source: Houston Chronicle, "Fort Bend DA waited months before notifying defense counsel about tainted evidence," Leah Binkovitz, Oct. 26, 2014

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