New Jersey Drug Charges and Improper Expert Witness Testimony
14-2-1544 State v. Goldsmith
After the defendant was convicted of possession of drugs and possession with intent to distribute he appealed his conviction arguing that the opinion testimony of two police “experts” that the transactions they ‘witnessed’ were drug purchases was clearly capable of producing an unjust result, such that there is a reasonable doubt as to whether the jury would have reached the same result without the improper opinion testimony.
The issues of the improper ‘expert’ witness testimony the court found problematic was the officer’s testimony and their influence of the jury as fact witnesses and ‘expert’ witnesses at the same time. The court also believed the prosecutor’s use of these ‘experts’ to disclosure of the full nature of defendant’s prior conviction, and the significant likelihood of prejudice resulting from the testimony that defendant’s prior conviction was for distribution, is a second basis for reversal.
Submitted by New Jersey Drug Crime Lawyer, Jeffrey Hark