In order to be convicted of a crime, Louisiana prosecutors must show that a suspect committed the actions they allege and that the actions constitute a crime. Prosecutors must provide sufficient, credible evidence, because they must meet a high burden: “beyond a reasonable doubt.” This means that if prosecutors fall anywhere short of this burden, they will not be able to convict someone of a crime. When there is insufficient evidence, it calls into question why police arrested someone in the first place.

There are some questions about what evidence there is that a father and son pair is responsible for growing three marijuana plants in their home. Both the 44-year-old father and the 19-year-old son were arrested in Livingston Parish and taken to the parish’s detention center. Initial reports indicate, however, that there were only three plants in the home, so it is truly unknown who is responsible for those plants. It is unclear if both the father and then son knew about the plant, or if they knew the other had marijuana in the home.

Without concrete evidence backing up their marijuana drug charges, it may be difficult to show that both father and son were involved in cultivating and growing the marijuana. Currently, they are out on $100,000 bail each.

It is important that only those who the state can prove are guilty be convicted of drug crimes. Charges like these — cultivation of schedule I drugs — come with a steep price. Even if a suspect is not sent to jail, he or she may be subject to heavy fines and a criminal record. Moving forward, it may be incredibly difficult to find a job or housing with a criminal record.

Source: KATC 2, “Father, son arrested on marijuana charges,” Dec. 18, 2012

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