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Name: U.S. v. Edwards
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 09/07/2000
Subsequent History: None
Summary

A conviction for possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute was reversed where the prosecutor tampered with a crucial piece of evidence during the first trial. The prosecutor opened the bag which had contained the cocaine, and took the bag from the courtroom back to his office. Since there was no means of linking Edwards to the bag except for a bail receipt which was allegedly found in the bag, and the government failed to take an inventory of the bag’s contents prior to disassembling it and removing it, the bail receipt should have been excluded at the second trial. Because the bail receipt more likely than not affected the outcome of the trial, its admission was not harmless error.