Given that experienced criminal defense attorneys are daily immersed in the criminal justice system, they are amply familiar with everything about it, from what is right and works to what is wrong and should never be condoned.
An example of the latter is police and prosecutorial abuse, with a sterling example of the former being provided by the story herein presented. Even though many readers might regard it as somewhat shocking, similar tales come to the surface with disturbing regularity. It is imperative that such stories come to light and wrongs made right, both to ensure the legitimacy and fairness of our criminal system and give recourse to those who are wrongly accused.
Essentially, the story boils down to this: A former and highly decorated Utah state trooper, Lisa Steed, is being investigated by the FBI, has been fired from her job and is the defendant in a class action lawsuit charging her with arresting many drivers on fake drunk driving charges over a period of years. Scores of persons could eventually join the litigation as plaintiffs.
“The stories are just rampant,” says one attorney involved in the case. In one instance, Steed is seen stun-gunning a driver on video, who was later determined to be completely sober. In another video, a suspect is observed passing field sobriety tests, yet Steed charged her with DUI. A blood test revealed that the motorist had no alcohol in her system. In yet another case, Steed told a man he was driving 73 miles per hour despite his adamant insistence that he was traveling 52 mph at the most. Steed has, moreover, admitted removing her police microphone in order to perform unauthorized actions.
One close observer and commentator on the matter says that, “The cumulative facts may well have a significant ripple effect across every case she’s touched.”
That number could rise into the thousands. In 2007, when Steed was named Utah’s “Trooper of the Year,” she made more than 200 drunk driving arrests.
Source: ABC News, “Fired Utah state trooper Lisa Steed accused of falsifying DUI arrests,” John Schriffen, Jan. 4, 2013
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