Most unbelievable successful defense

I was on a jury many years ago that still has me shaking my head. A guy was arrested for selling crack cocaine in the park. He had been observed for several days making transactions before he was arrested. Upon arrest he was found to have several “rocks” in his pocket. He claimed that he thought they were just wax and he was just ripping people off, he said he didn’t know it was real cocaine. The jury decided that we had no way to prove beyond a doubt ( not reasonable doubt) that he really knew he was selling cocaine.

It seems to me that if a case like this really held up almost anybody could claim lack of knowledge. Can you top this one?


I once won a possession of cocaine case where the stuff was in my client’s coat pocket. I argued “would this guy have been such a dick to the cops if he knew he had cocaine in his pocket? Of course not, he was obviously unaware. Therefore, not guilty.”

Sometimes you get lucky. Much more common is losing a case even though you had a nice solid defense and the defendant might actually have been innocent.

Before someone else jumps in to say it, the OJ case needs to be on the list.

Didn’t follow that case too closely, did you?

You’re going to have to enlighten me. Since you called me out, I’ve read the wiki page, and articles in both the LA Times and NY Times. I have yet to come across anything that makes me question my opinion.

Is your opinion that it was offered as a defense? If so, I think you need to head back to square one.

You may have to read them again:

From Wikipedia:

From the LA Times:

“Affluenza” wasn’t a defense. It was a mitigating factor offered at sentencing.

Young Mr. Couch is certainly going to suffer less than some others in similar circumstances as a result of his conviction. But he was convicted.

Did he claim to possess below-average intelligence? Also, I’m not sure if this is applicable to the USA, but couldn’t you nail him on tax evasion? In Canada, you only don’t have to charge and register sales taxes and personal income if you sell under $30,000 a year worth of goods. If he had been dealing for several days, wouldn’t it have been reasonable to extrapolate an amount and then check his tax returns? Even the feds had to nab Al Capone on tax evasion charges.

Thank you sir. This is what I was missing.

Twinkie Defense

Nothing comes close, off the top of my head.

Your honor sir! I only found these “pieces of wax” a couple of weeks ago and decided then that it would be a fun idea to use them to rip off some low life druggies.

Great link, but it leads to a few others which I reckon are just as good.

The Matrixdefense. where people believe they are in the Matrix, not in real life.

The Gay panic defense.

This isn’t a defense, but it got a case thrown out of court.

A drug kingpin Griselda Blanco was going to be brought to trial. So someone who worked in the DAs office had phone sex with one of the key witnesses, which caused most of the case to get thrown out. So a mass murderer gets off because of phone sex.

She claims she was pressured by her superiors. I have no idea if she got paid off, or if only her superiors did.

The Chewbacca Defense.

Not a successful defense but a creative one.

Back around 1980 a state’s entire prison system was being charged with systemic violations of the Eighth Amendment. And the evidence against them was pretty overwhelming and there was no way they could refute the facts.

So they swung for the fences and claimed that the fact that the violations were systemic was their defense. They argued the Constitution prohibited punishment that was cruel and unusual. And the mountain of evidence demonstrated that while they might be enacting punishment which was cruel, they were doing it in so widespread a manner it didn’t qualify as unusual.

The judge did not buy this argument.

That was good!

There was some kind of discussion of a contract with Lear for the development of one of their jets which required flight testing to be completed by the end of a certain calendar year, and they accepted testing done on “December 31”.

Not criminal law, maybe not even court, so maybe this doesn’t count.

Curse you. :mad:

The Menendez Brothers’ initial defense of claiming they were sexually molested never fails to piss me off. While not ultimately successful, it did create a mistrial, and oddly enough the subject was never mentioned in the second, successful trial. Not even their shrink testified about molestation, only that they’d admitted to the murders in session.

(Funnily enough, my 420 doc happens to be that very same shrink – L.A.'s a small world, eh?)

I knew a guy like that once. He spray-painted some sawdust green, and sold it as weed. Let’s just say that he sold it to the wrong people and never tried that again.

As part of my jailhouse defense practice (IAAL), I’ve seen and handled plenty of crack. Even though it is always in a sealed evidence bag, it is apparent that wax and rocks of crack cocaine have entirely different consistencies. As regards the OP, perhaps the prosecution wasn’t as aware of the consistency of crack as I am, and didn’t ask the right questions of witnesses.

I don’t get your point here. It seems perfectly logical and straightforward to me that December 31 is still within the calendar year. Why would they not accept testing done on that date?