In criminal law cases, legal procedure is crucial in ensuring justice is applied according to the Constitution and laws of the land. When Kyeron Michael Church was arrested, tried, and convicted of drug charges and sentenced to 10 years in prison, there were some questions left unanswered about the case against him.
In particular, Church’s attorney argued that he had a right to know the location of the police surveillance that helped to convict him. At trial, the prosecution claimed they didn’t have to reveal this due to a surveillance location privilege.
This report from the Daily Record states the Court of Appeals found in a 4-3 decision that the prosecution didn’t have reason to withhold the requested information and that although such a privilege does exist, it wasn’t applicable in Church’s case.
What does this mean for Church? It means the lower court will now hold a hearing to determine if there is additional evidence that makes the privilege applicable. If the court finds there is, they will give weight to this evidence as well as weight to Church’s reasons for requesting the location. If not, the state will likely divulge the location.
The lower court will ultimately determine again if the location must be revealed. They are trying to determine if disclosing the location could place anyone in danger. Unless the location is still being used as for covert surveillance, Church’s attorney argues, there is no reason to withhold it.
Opinions like this can be confusing and downright frustrating for all parties. However, they are there to ensure that defendants in the American legal system are protected at every step of the game. If you are charged with a drug offense and facing 10 years in prison like Church, I can bet you would want no rock left unturned when it came to your defense.
Knowing the ins and outs of legal procedure is the responsibility of an experienced criminal defense attorney. Whether you are facing charges of felony drug possession or DUI, you want to be confident in your choice of attorney.