28 July 2005

Incisive Legal Analysis? Sage Personal Advice? It's Both!

The Appellate Law & Practice blog reports this morning on a case from the Fifth Circuit in which a drug raid on a woman's home, where she lived with her boyfriend, yielded (in addition to the drugs sought) a gun. The woman initially testified to the grand jury that the gun belonged to her boyfriend; she subsequently recanted in an affidavit and claimed ownership herself. Flip-flopping once again, however, she qualified to run as a candidate for the Presidency of the United States she signed another affidavit repudiating the first and claimed once again that the gun belonged to her boyfriend.

Valiantly attempting to unravel the web spun by this serial affiant/perjurer, the Assistant United States Attorney assigned to the affair found (albeit based again upon a sworn statement offered by the selfsame serial affiant/perjurer) that a conspiracy between girlfriend and boyfriend to prevent his conviction on a firearms charge had caused the initial change in the girlfriend's testimony. A motion to compel production of the boyfriend's former attorney's notes to conform that attorney's involvement in the scheme bought the case a ticket to the Court of Appeals.

AL&P notes that this scenario is not all that unusual and concludes with a few words of advice for young ladies (or for those of us raising them):
Although this story is a particularly tangled addition to the genre, the girlfriend lying to cover her drugdealing boyfriend's ass, in my experience, is not uncommon. I saw it in one case I worked on recently, and that girlfriend ended up getting slapped with an obstruction of justice enhancement to her own sentence. The phenomenon of girlfriend's getting tagged because of her boyfriend's drug dealing is so common that it's been dubbed The Girlfriend Problem.

The moral of these stories is, don't lie to the police to save your boyfriend and don't let him keep his stash in your house. I mean, really! I know a good man is hard to find, but he's just not worth it, girlfriend!

I have filed this valuable advice away for use in the (very, very distant) future when my daughter begins to date (if ever -- it might never happen -- happy place, happy place . . . ). I'm adding "Keep her from becoming a dupe for a guns-and-drugs boyfriend" to the top of the parenting to-do list, right ahead of Chris Rock's admonition to fathers of daughters that, "You got to keep her off the pole!" Honey, don't date a drug dealer, don't perjure yourself before a grand jury, and don't become a stripper. Let's go for ice cream now and never need to mention these things again, OK?

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