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Spotlight on federal/state collusion in evidence matters, Part 2

The bottom line expressed in our immediately preceding blog post is clear-cut. It underscores the need for a proven criminal defense attorney to subject every piece of evidence against a client to closest scrutiny.

We note in our February 5 entry that the importance of that task cannot be overstated, given the potential for tainted evidence that exists in any given case.

A national news report chronicles so-called "whisper" stops of vehicles that police make based on clandestine information supplied them by federal agencies. Put in simplest terms, notes NPR, federal authorities "often secretly feed information to local law enforcement."

That practice obviously turns justice on its head. Truth and fairness are fatally compromised when a whispered tip rather than, say, an alleged improper lane change actually yielded a criminal conviction.

The above report -- compiled by the respected Human Rights Watch organization -- notes that the real sources of incriminating evidence are sometimes so veiled that they simply remain unknown to defendants. Moreover, they come from agencies ranging widely from the FBI and the NSA to the Drug Enforcement Administration and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The legitimacy of such evidence cannot be tested when it remains shrouded as to source and origin. The lead author of the Watch report notes that muddying the evidence trail "deliberately hoodwinks defendants and judges" and undermines the American Constitution.

An experienced defense attorney knows that intimately well and will always retain a healthy skepticism while methodically examining every material aspect of criminal evidence that seeks to incriminate a client.

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