A woman spent over 47 days in jail because of a false suspicion.
GAINSVILLE, GA — An innocent woman had several months of her life destroyed when she was arrested and charged with a felony because of a spaghetti-encrusted spoon found in her possession.
Ashley Gabrielle Huff, 23, had no criminal history and insisted that “there’s no way in hell” that there could have been any drugs in her possession during a traffic stop in July. Nonetheless, a Gainsville police officer honed in on a spoon that was “on her or near her” in the vehicle in which she was riding as a passenger.
Suspecting that the spoon had drug residue on it, the officer arrested Ms. Huff and charged her with possession of methamphetamines. Even for trace amounts, the charge is a third degree felony in Florida, which could have netted her as much as five years in one of Florida’s brutal and abusive state prisons.
After her July 2nd arrest, she spend an unconfirmed number of days in jail before she was released and required to attend a number of obligatory drug appointments. When she was unable to make all the appointments, she was rearrested and made to sit in jail from August 2nd until September 18th.
Ms. Huff insisted that she wasn’t a drug user, but had little means with which to defend herself. She relied on a public defender to represent her in court.
Finally in late September, a crime lab analysis revealed that the “residue” on the spoon was not an illegal drug. It was actually tomato sauce from a can of SpaghettiOs, as the woman had claimed all along.
“I think what the unfortunate part about her case is that she was probably willing to take the felony to close out her case so that she get out of jail, even though she always maintained innocence,” public defender Chris van Rossem told the Gainsville Times.
Once the crime lab failed to indicate any drug evidence, the county prosecutor dropped the charge against Ms. Huff. She spent at least 47 days in the Hall County Jail.
News story here.
I thought there was something in the Constitution about the right to a speedy trial…?
July 2 – September 18. At least it was the same year?
Also something about innocent until proven guilty?
“was […] required to attend a number of obligatory drug appointments.”
So, she was GUILTY regardless of trial? And I’ll bet she had to PAY for those “appointments”….
Tell me again why violence IS NOT the answer? Sudden, brutal, directed, clean, precise, Biblical violence…?
Speedy is a relative term. Given the proliferation of ‘laws’ and the litigiousness of modern ‘society,’ court time is at a premium. Just one of the problems with our current ‘system of justice.’
If trials were limited to those with a victim (or heir) to serve as complainant, things would thin out quite a bit. Doing away with the prison system and returning to a system of restitution would also be a good move. And applying the biblical punishment for false witness – i.e., do to him as he thought to have done to the other – would do away with a lot of frivilous law suits.
I know “speedy” is relative, that is part of what I was trying to illustrate. 🙂
The longer they draw it out, with their infinite resources – the more likely the “let’s pretend” of a plea-bargain.
And yet the guilty go without punishment.
I haven’t heard an exact comparison, but the hypothetical is:
Meth addict (or whatever drug) had rap sheet a mile long; skips out on parole officer meetings, skips drug treatments, skips therapy or community service, maybe even caught faking urinalysis: NO PROBLEM….. Liberal pussy parole officer, judge, etc, and they walk away after their 53rd convicion with a stern, “NOW DON’T DO IT AGAIN!”
But the honest citizen, ACCUSED as a first-time offender? They get sent to a hard-ass “LAW’N’ORDER” Scare-monger who wants to implant an RFID in them and lock them up on mere accusation, and missing an “obligatory drug session” because you have to WORK gets you arrested (which likely also means fired)…
I hear you, and I was not disagreeing.
Had this woman defended herself against her attacker, and had I been on a jury empaneled to indict, I would have refused to.
what, chew no like meriKan justeece, seenyor? Chillax Essay, der tag’s a kommt’in holmes!
Spaghetti-o’s ARE a drug, but one that is approved by the FDA, USDA and Big Agra.
HA! 10 points.