Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

2008 Drug Conviction Vacated by High Court

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

2008 Drug Conviction Vacated by High Court

Article excerpt

The New Jersey Supreme Court threw out the drug conviction of a Hackensack man because of a hypothetical prosecution question at trial about the defendant's state of mind.

In a 6-0 ruling published Tuesday, the justices found that an expert -- a Bergen County Prosecutor's Office detective -- is no better qualified than a juror to determine a defendant's state of mind.

On July 16, 2008, Hackensack detectives were watching a house where Scott M. Cain lived with his mother. Officers saw a hand-to- hand exchange between Cain and another man on the porch and then followed the man. Realizing he was being followed, the man dropped crack cocaine.

Eight days later, an officer saw a hand-to-hand transaction between Cain and another person in front of the house. Officers recovered two envelopes containing heroin. Both buyers testified that they bought drugs from Cain. …

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