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Drug Conviction Reversed Due To Untimely Disclosure Of Exculpatory Evidence

The defendant was convicted in the Superior Court for possession with the intent to distribute PCP and for violating the Massachusetts School Zone statute.  He appealed his conviction on the grounds that the prosecution’s late disclosure of exculpatory evidence deprived him of his right to a fair trial.

At the time of his arrest the defendant had in his possession a quantity of PCP that the testifying officer considered consistent with an intent to distribute rather than for personal use.  Supporting this opinion was the defendant’s possession of items consistent with an intent to distribute.  One of these items was neatly folded money that the officer believed the defendant used as his bank role.  One of the defendant’s friends testified that the money was hers.  She further testified that she called the police station to claim the money.  Two prosecution witnesses testified to having checked the police logs and seeing no evidence of the friend’s call. 

After the evidence in the trial had closed the prosecution located recordings of two telephone calls that indeed supported the friend’s testimony.  The trial judge refused defense counsel’s request for a mistrial and the case was appealed.  The Massachusetts Appeals Court ruled that the late disclosure warranted a reversal of the conviction.  See Commonwealth v. Green, slip opinion July 21, 2008. 

Possession with the intent to distribute PCP in connection with the violation of the School Zone Statute warrants a minimum 2 years sentence of incarceration.  This sentence cannot be suspended and probation is not a permitted alternative.  Therefore your choice of lawyers is of the utmost importance if you have been charged with these offenses. 

Attorney Stephen Neyman is a criminal defense attorney in Massachusetts who has spent his entire career handling drug cases. 

Related Web Resources:

Massachusetts Criminal Defense Law Firms

Possession With Intent To Distribute PCP G.L. c. 94C sec. 32A

School Zone Violations G.L. c. 94C sec. 32J