Saturday, March 27, 2010

Waste Fraud And Abuse

Remember a few days back when I posted about the trouble with police crime labs? Well I have more evidence.

San Francisco prosecutors told judges Friday that they could not "ethically go forward" with 46 narcotics trials because of evidence problems arising out of the scandal at the Police Department's drug-analysis lab - signaling that the district attorney is likely to dismiss nearly all 750 pending drug cases in the city.

"Based on what the district attorney's office knows about the issues within the narcotics division of the crime lab, we cannot ethically go forward with this prosecution," Assistant District Attorney Nancy Tung told a judge overseeing a case that was serving as a test of how much police and prosecutors had to disclose to defense attorneys about problems at the drug lab.

Prosecutors dropped that test case, a cocaine-sales trial, after having been deluged with 1,500 pages of police files about the lab that a spokesman for the district attorney called "troubling" and said pointed to possible larger problems in the Police Department.
As if you needed more evidence of what a waste the drug war is.

But it gets worse.
The exact contents of the 1,500 pages of police files have not been made public, but Buckelew said the documents hinted at problems with police and the drug lab that go beyond Madden's conduct. Buckelew called the files "troubling."

"At the very beginning this was a case about Debbie Madden and isolated incidents that could have been resolved by retesting," Buckelew said. However, he added, "the face of this has changed."

Bell's attorney said he believed the material included audits of the crime lab at Hunters Point, and its drug-testing section, going back at least six years.

Among the questions raised since the suspicions about Madden were made public is why the Police Department took more than two months to open a criminal investigation into her actions after her sister said she had found what she believed to be a stolen lab vial of cocaine in Madden's home. Documents contained in the files could help answer that question and reveal who in the Police Department knew what and when.
If you have been a libertarian as long as I have you know what a waste government is in general. So what will be the outcome? Most likely the government will ask for more money to fix the mess the government caused. The bigger the screw up the more government will take from citizens. Heads we win and tails we win bigger. You'd almost think the game was rigged.

The government has no interest in fighting drugs per se. That is incidental to emptying your wallet. I can't wait for the marks to wise up.

H/T Pete Guither at Drug War Rant

Cross Posted at Classical Values

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