Brickbat: Does a Body Good


An Oklahoma County, Oklahoma, judge sentenced Cody Gregg to 15 years in prison after Gregg pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. Days later, a drug test found that cocaine was actually powdered milk. Gregg withdrew his plea, and the judge dismissed the charge. Gregg had initially pleaded not guilty to the charge, saying the powder was actually powdered milk, but changed his mind after spending two months in the Oklahoma County jail. Gregg said he pleaded guilty because he wanted to get out of the jail.

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  1. The second craziest thing about this is that lab testing the stuff took over two months. It’s the most basic element of the case and yet it’s the least important element.

    The most crazy thing is that people put up with this shit. I don’t know how long this sort of thing has been going on, but I know I’ve been reading people complaining about it for 20 years or more. The justice system is broken and it’s been broken for a long time.

    1. They should have been able to field test it right there on the spot. Add 4oz of water, mix, add Cheerios – does it taste like milk? It’s probably milk.

    2. Average folks have no idea. On those CSI shows, they get almost instantaneous results, don’t they?
      Shouldn’t this Cody guy’s lawyer have demanded an independent test of his own on the “evidence?”

      1. His public defender who probably spoke to him for a total of about 10 minutes? Sure.

      2. So what else from TV has distorted reality for most people?

      3. Shouldn’t this Cody guy’s lawyer have demanded an independent test of his own on the “evidence?”

        Average folks have no idea. On those lawyer shows, every defendant gets a competent lawyer who has all the time in the world for them, don’t they?

  2. Everyone involved in this case is either an asshole, a moron or named Cody.

    1. I’m going with asshole and moron for the non-Cody group. Add the fact that they’re bureaucrats as well and that’s the trifecta of f’d up.

    2. dude, Oklahoma. never go there. ever. seriously.

      1. Yeah, I think Oklahoma is almost certainly the state I am least likely to visit. I can’t think of any reason I would ever go there.

        1. To visit the Christian-chicken-slave-camps?

          1. Christians enslaved by chickens? Why hasn’t this been in the news?

            1. In case you aren’t joking, I’m referring to the “christian counseling work camps” that Oklahoma has been sending convicts to as an alternative to prison. Some of the more infamous ones have been chicken processing centers. Even if you don’t think “slavery” is a fair comparison (which is understandable), they’re still pretty horrible. As in “this should be immediately shut down” level of horrible.

              If you are joking… y’know, I was going to try for some puns here, maybe something about Fox guarding the Hen House, but I couldn’t quite make it work. So, uh, sorry. Got nothing funny.

              1. Well the 13th amendment does allow for slavery as a punishment for crimes.

            2. You mis-parsed the hyphenated term.
              These are slave camps for Christian chickens. The chickens are given a choice: either work on road-crossing maintenance or become Christian fryers.

              1. all of it believable … in Ooooooooklahoma.

  3. This is almost as terrible as the story from a few months back about the college football player who had “cocaine” on the hood of his car that turned out to be bird poop, just as he had claimed when they pulled him over.

    I wonder when the science will be settled when it comes to identifying substances via mass spectrometry or however they do this.

    1. I haven’t worked in a crime lab, admittedly, but I would assume it’s probably LCMS. So, yes, mass spectrometry, most likely.

      1. If I had to guess, they thought it was pure cocaine and ran it down an LCMS and got a “This shit’s fucked up, detection peaks for cocaine… and everything else.” result. Once they knew it wasn’t pure cocaine, they ran it on a clinical or wet chemistry analyzer that said “Whatever it is, there’s definitely no meaningful amount of cocaine in it.”

        1. 20, maybe 30 years ago, there was a “fun” plenary lecture given by some forensic chemist from FBI or such about the use of MS in crime labs. One of the takeaways was that just about every bit of paper money will test positive for cocaine if you have enough sensitivity. The whole money supply is completely polluted with the stuff.

          1. Maybe related; around the same time I recall an off-the-cuff statistics lecture suggesting that if you’ve got 5 singles in your wallet that were printed more than 3-4 yrs. ago, the odds that at least one has been in a stripper’s underwear is indistinguishable from one.

            1. What kind of horrible person tips a stripper with Washingtons?

              If you aren’t using at least Jacksons, that’s just insulting.

  4. Letting South Carolina police and prosecutors seize and keep cash, cars, and other valuables and use the proceeds to pad their budgets violates the Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments, a circuit court judge in Horry County, South Carolina ruled. In a 15-page decision, 15th Judicial Circuit Judge Steven H. John declared that South Carolina’s civil forfeiture laws, which let the government “seize unlimited amounts of cash and other property when no crime has been committed,” run afoul of the U.S. and South Carolina Constitutions’ guarantees of due process and bans on excessive fines.

    – From Reuters, I’d link but I ‘d screw it up anyway.

    1. So perhaps it will wind it’s way to the Supreme Court, along with other issues such as with the tendency of Congress to delegate much of it’s responsibility to the administrative state.

      One more Gorsuch* and it could be a game changer.

      *dollars to donuts they’re keeping Ginsberg alive with experimental drugs; sometime in the not so distant future a book will come out: “The Race to Save The Living Constitution”

      1. Getting another Gorush would be glorious. I’m holding out hope that SCOTUS Kavanaugh will be better then his earlier deferential style, if only because he got a good look at what assholes in power will do during his confirmation.

        And I wouldn’t doubt Ginsberg has already died and their just pulling a Weekend at Bernie’s move until Trump is impeached, voted out or term limited.

        1. #DeadParrotSkit

      2. While I would be excited to have another Gorsuch on the court, I think you guys are underestimating the longevity of crotchety old women. When you get past 80, your year-over-year mortality flattens out. If she avoids taking a bad fall she could be on the court for another fifteen years pretty easily.

        Personally, I expect her to retire as soon as the blue team gets a president again, but even if that takes a while she can still haunt us for longer than you might think possible. In fairness to RBG, though, she’s not entirely bad. I mean, none of them are, even Kagan thinks qualified immunity is a crock. Probably not for the reasons that we do, but I’ll take what I can get.

  5. Speedy trial?

    Perhaps it is reasonable for it to take 2 months to test the sample. It is not reasonable to jail him while they wait.

    1. Some cop or prosecutor should be jailed for 2 months. Or perhaps the entire Supreme Court, for so long tolerating a system where the fastest way to get out of jail is often to plead guilty.

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