When Mike Scott was arrested two weeks ago on felony drug charges, (possession of marijuana and possession of MDMA), when Mike Scott confessed to both possession charges on a Thursday morning, he had no idea that the simple act of not asking for legal counsel in a moment of great stress would have such dire consequences.
Scott is facing up to 25 years in prison, primarily because he was caught with MDMA (Molly) which is a Schedule 1 drug in the state of Georgia and has federal sentencing guidelines. Possession of MDMA is no different, in the eyes of the judicial system, than possession of heroin. The worst part of the whole fiasco is that Mike Scott confessed.
His confession which is on videotape is self-implicating as he takes full responsibilty for the drugs. (Scott was arrested with his brother). It is that confession that is now his enemy. His lawyer’s first responsibility is to file a Motion to Suppress and get the confession thrown out. There are two ways to make that happen. His lawyer can argue he was questioned unfairly meaning he was not Mirandized. More commonly is the “he was coerced” defense. Traumatized by the arrest, was Mike Scott manipulated into giving a confession? Was he threatened enough so that his free will was compromised?
But as Dean George Tsourakis, a Clearwater, Florida criminal defense attorney noted: “A lousy lawyer can get a confession thrown out if the facts are right. A superb lawyer can’t if the cops did it correctly.”
Scott can recant his confession but the corpus delicti rule has Scott facing serious jail time. That rule basically states there must be supporting evidence of a crime beyond a confession in order to charge a defendant with a crime. In Scott’s case the evidence is currently being tested at a crime lab for their chemical makeup. The MDMA testing is critical. Many drugs sold as Ecstasy or Molly are not chemical MDMA drugs. The lab will break down the components to see what exactly Mike Scott had in his possession.
That Scott is facing serious jail time when two months ago he was in the Eastern Conference Finals is a cautionary tale about athletes and their decision making.
photo via llananba