This is something would have expected to see in a criminal justice version of Clockwork Orange. However, it is a case in point that only proves our criminal justice system is not only blind but haywire. Look at the core facts of this case:
1. ‘…West Palm Beach police arrested Phillips in 2001 on charges that he sold drugs to an undercover cop….’
2. ‘…At his trial in 2003, a cadre of witnesses who had been paid by the government or given reduced sentences testified that Phillips was the head of a drug ring. The most damning testimony came from then West Palm Beach cop Michael Ghent, who claimed to have bought about an ounce of crack from Phillips….”
3. ‘…The jury found Phillips innocent of most of the charges, but Lenard sentenced him to 30 years for convictions that would have earned him months in prison in state court….’
4. ‘….He discovered that Ghent wasn’t working the night he supposedly bought drugs from Phillips and was actually in a college class across town….’
The actual story gets better if you read it through the link. When considering revelations association with prosecutors not informing defense attorney’s of the FBI lab mistakes on a national level, problems dusted under the table in an internal only investigation of the Alachua Sheriff’s evidence locker then we are talking not of what would be expected to be isolated examples but a system that is not only broke but corrupt.
In a system where 94 or so percent of the men and women that go to prison do so on a plea bargain the system has gotton oh so sloppy and things like the above detective being in a college class when the drug deal went down would have or should have been discovered in a proper trial.