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Defendant Contends Burden of Proof was Not Met


A girl was convicted of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the first degree, for which she was sentenced to a prison term of eight years to life. She was imprisoned and already served her three years term.

The girl contends that the evidence at her trial failed to demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that she was the woman who sold an undercover officer 214 vials containing cocaine. However, New York Drug Crime Lawyer said there was ample evidence that the officer had sufficient opportunity during the sale to observe the girl closely enough to permit a reliable identification at the trial, and the jury was entitled to credit the identification. Further, a New York the girl also contends that the New York state failed to demonstrate that she sold two ounces or more of cocaine that was contested by the testimony of the chemist who testified for the New York state as to the procedure he employed in weighing the contents of the vials. It was for the jury to decide whether the expert had adequately analyzed and weighed the contents and whether his opinion was entitled to be credited.

The New York state cross-appealed, however, contending that the court illegally imposed a sentence which was less than the legal minimum of fifteen years to life. The girl, at age seventeen was properly convicted for selling drugs. A New York Drug Possession Lawyer said he had already served three years of the original sentence of eight years to life. She didn’t murder anyone. In fact, she has not ever been convicted of any other crime than the said drug crime.

In the instant case brought into the court, the fifteen year minimum sentence would be unconstitutional as applied to the girl and invoked the rare case exception, sentencing the girl to the reduced sentence of eight years to life. The court focused on various factors in arriving at her decision such as the girl’s age, lack of a criminal history and the pre-trial plea offer of three years to life.

The New York state commissioner of correction, as well as other officials, agree, that the punitive sentences mandated twenty years ago, under the drug laws, have proven ineffective at crimping the drug scourge but highly effective at packing the prisons with relatively low-ranking, non-violent inmates. A Nassau County Drug Possession Lawyer said it has resulted in disproportionate sentences as argued by one prisoner, quoted in one of the magazine.

Based on records, it is unfortunate that the taxpayers are spending approximately $35,000 per year for each inmate who is entombed in a prison cell, as compared with $5,000 which would be the yearly cost of a realistic rehabilitation program for those who might be amenable to treatment. The financial cost of keeping the girl in prison for fifteen years, as well as the cost of caring for her child, will be extremely high, but its cost in suffering and wasted opportunity will be incalculable.

A system of justice which mandates a fifteen year prison sentence, as a minimum, on a seventeen year old girl, who was not cared for by parents and under the domination of her uncle, who was the prime mover in the sale of narcotics, also mandates a lifetime of drug crime and imposes on the community, upon her release, a woman who may be incapable of anything but criminal activity. A Queens Drug Possession Lawyer said if the court did not attempt to rehabilitate such young offender, the court might condemn them as well.

As a result, the judgment of the Supreme Court convicting the girl after trial by jury of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the first degree, and sentencing her to a term of eight years to life was affirmed.

Even young individuals nowadays are involved in drug selling and other drug related crime. Every parent must take responsibility in guiding and watching their kids because unwanted influence might come their way. If your child gets involved with a lawsuit, you can ask help with the NY Drug Attorneys. If your child’s involvement in a crime needs another representation, the NY Criminal Lawyers at Stephen Bilkis and Associates can be another option.

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