The dismissal of more than 90 additional drug convictions are expected in 11 years’ worth of cases involving a disgraced former Houston police officer. Prosecutors made the announcement in May regarding investigations led by ex-narcotics officer Gerald Goines. He has been charged with murder related to a botched drug raid in January 2019 and faces several charges related to lying about cases.
The recent announcement brings the number of dismissed cases to at least 164 in which Goines had an involvement. The Goines situation represents another instance in which misconduct within law enforcement entraps people and leads to unlawful convictions that ruin a person’s life.
Protocol needed in drug arrests
Details of a Goines-led drug raid in which a Houston couple died led to outrage among many members of the public. Prosecutors say that Goines – who eventually retired from the force – lied in order to obtain a search warrant for the couple’s home.
Prosecutors shudder when they discover improper arrests and investigations within criminal cases. Without law enforcement following proper procedure, case dismissals occur. If arrested for a drug crime, many factors get scrutiny. They include whether:
- Arresting officers obeyed the law
- A reasonable search and seizure occurred
- Law enforcement planted drugs on the accused or in his or her property
- The drugs belonged to someone else
Since the raid from early 2019, thousands of cases overseen by the Houston Police Department’s narcotics division are getting a second look. This makes sense. False accusations and entrapment have no place in the legal system.