Mr. Drown Wrongfully Convicted Over Bong Water

Wrongfully Convicted Because Attorneys Didn’t Know What the Law Actually Said.

Knowing what the law actually says is very important in a criminal case. The prosecutor has to prove each element of the crime beyond and to the exclusion of any reasonable doubt. Here’s an example: if you are charged with drug possession it’s not enough for the prosecutor to prove that you were simply around some illegal drugs. The prosecutor has to prove that the drugs were either on your person, or were under your dominion or control. Otherwise they can’t prove the case against you.

This brings us to the story of Ryan Drown, a man in Minnesota who was convicted of second and third degree drug possession because the police found meth-tainted water in his bong. The problem was that when the water was measured it came out to 4/10ths of an ounce. To convict him of second and third degree drug possession (which would land him in prison), the prosecutor had to prove there was 4 ounces of meth water in the bong, which would have been impossible. But, unfortunately for Mr. Drown neither his defense attorney nor the prosecutor knew what they law actually said. This meant that he was convicted of second and third degree drug possession and spent seven months behind bars until his case was appealed. Once his appellate attorney realized what happened, he was quickly released from prison.

Again, 4/10 is not the same as 4. I was never that good at math, but I figured out that one pretty quickly. Attention to detail matters, no matter how minor the details seem. There are no small elements of a crime when it comes to proving the case at trial. Small details cost Ryan Drown 7 months of time outside prison.