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Charges Against Jolly Dropped

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Charges Against Jolly Dropped

This is per Andy Nelesen of the Green Bay Press Gazette, according to Tom Pelissero.

I have to say, after reading Greg Bedard's (fantastic) piece on Jolly, I am shocked. I guess the fact the date was pushed back so many times might have been some kind of indication, but I would have thought that would stem from the court, not from the prosecution. And what's even more interesting is the fact that the prosecution will apparently refile within 90 days.

I know we have a few lawyers in our readership. Thoughts?

UPDATE: Nelesen's piece is up. Bizzare. The thing is being postponed so that workers in the crime lab can learn to use a new piece of equipment? Ahhh, the wheels of justice.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (26) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Jayme's picture

So, what, will this be settled by next season then? If he gets suspended down the stretch this season, it will put a major dent in our postseason hopes.
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I just don't get it. If he was caught with the stuff, put him in jail, give him probation, whatever. He either had it or he didn't. I hope that his lawyers do some finagling of the law to block his future conviction because his right to a speedy trial was violated.

packeraaron's picture

Jayme - 90 days is mid-October and as Pelissero says in his blog, one motion from Jolly's lawyer puts the thing into next January. Jolly won't be suspended this season.

Jayme's picture

Well, it says up to 90 days, that means they could theoretically finish in 60, which would leave it in September, then December. Although the way this mess has been going, I doubt they'll even refile before the end of the season.
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Regardless, though, this is getting ridiculous. Either he did it or he didn't. He's a first time offender so he's likely to get probation anyway, from what I've read at least. There's no need to be more specific, just convict him already and get this over with. I'd rather know which 4 games he's going to miss than have to worry about it down the line.

Asshalo's picture

I kinda agree with Jayme. We're already a little weak at DE. It wouldn't hurt to bring someone in.

packeraaron's picture

There's no way he misses 'a' game this year, let alone four. As for brining someone in, I've been banging the Kevin Carter drum all offseason. Thompson dances to a different drum.

Nerdmann's picture

I've always said this is an extremely weak case. If he has a decent lawyer at all, he walks.
I think the prosecution is continuing the delays, trying to pressure him into copping a plea, because they know they can't convict.

Asshalo's picture

If the glove doesn't fit you must acquit.
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Aaron, last I heard the Lions were considering Carter. I was banging the Vonnie Holliday drum all off-season. He was on of the best 3-4 DEs in the league last year. I'm not sure why anyone hasn't signed him. It seemed the Dolphins cut him bc he failed to restructure a contract and not at all health

packeraaron's picture

"He was on of the best 3-4 DEs in the league last year. I’m not sure why anyone hasn’t signed him" Because he was not one of the best 3-4 DEs in the league last year. He's a good guy with experience, but do you really put him on par with Seymour, Warren or Smith? I sure don't.

Asshalo's picture
packeraaron's picture

A 30 front DE is not a stats driven position though. And is he a Top 15? Sure, but that's not what you said. ;)

Asshalo's picture

Not quite, but I didn't mean top three either.

retiredgrampa's picture

As the Williams' sisters case shows, no one cares about, "justice delayed is justice denied". For once, our frayed legal system might help us, too. Actually, I'm not happy about either case. Jolly was warned and was too weak to avoid bad companions. Let's hope he's getting smarter day by day.

Ron La Canne's picture

Jolly's contract is up next year. If this does get past the technical lawyer stuff and goes to trial the Packers just won't sign him for next season. If the charges are ever dismissed it all depends on how well he plays this season and how he manages his civilian life this year. So far he's done a pretty good job after the incident last year. He will be with the Packers all year and if he plays well he could have a good future.

One step towards some Dline depth this year. And that can't be bad.

bomdad's picture

Good point Ron, and Bedard made the same about his contract expiring. I think the Packers either let him walk or use a tag to get some compensation. Of course the contract situation gives JJ some extra motivation for this season, which is great for fans and the team.
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I always figured this would be a he said/he said kind of case. None of his buddies turned on him as it sounds.

DaveK's picture

Maybe the DA isn't playing ball but I would think taking a plea for probation and serving the NFL suspension early in the season would be a wiser choice long term for Jolly. I just can't imagine he wants to become a free agent while a felony court case is pending or a possible NFL suspension looms. Not exactly ways to get that big signing bonus! Or, maybe Jolly is just really confident he can convince a TX jury that cup full of drugs was someone elses.

bucky's picture

Ok, it's been a very long time since I did criminal work, and I only did it for a short (about 4 months) period of time, but there are a few things I might add.

First, it is not that uncommon for a prosecutor to drop charges and then later refile them. It is somewhat less common to do this so late in the process; usually this is done earlier.

Second, there's this line from the article:
"The dismissal hinges on Houston Police Department’s crime lab receipt of new equipment that can measure the amount of codeine in a substance, said Donna Hawkins, spokeswoman for the Harris County District Attorney’s Office."

If the police need new equipment to determine how much codeine is in a particular substance, how did they have enough evidence to file the charges in the first place? If determining the level of codeine is necessary to refile the charges, wouldn't it also be necessary to file them the first time around? Kinda puzzling.

Third, there's the next line:
“Lab personnel have to learn how to use the instrument and to testify about the results,” Hawkins said Thursday. “Once they receive that training, the case will be refiled.

Oh boy. A defense lawyer is going to have a great time with that one. "Please describe your background in performing these tests." "Well, this is my first time. But I was trained." "So you've never used this particular piece of equipment before?" "Only for training purposes." "Never testified about the results of these tests before?" "Nope."

Now, I understand that juries have a tendency to want to convict, but if I'm the DA I sure wouldn't want this case to be the first time my guys are testifying on the results of these tests. Unlike most defendants, Jolly can afford a pretty good defense attorney. I'd rather have them do a number of easy cases before they had to do a hard one, like this one looks to be.

Of course, this is Texas, and things are screwy down there.

Graham's picture

It is important to know exactly how much codeine was in the drink. This could mean the difference from a minor drug offense to intent to distribute, which is a BIG difference there.
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The case was essentially called by the prosecution, thus no RULING on the innocence or guiltiness of Mr. Jolly, aka problem is not over.
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They can always re-file which was stated correctly in the story. My guess is that this will be re-filed and any motion will push this case back to February of 2010. The Prosecution can choose not to re-file either but a high profile case like this is probably going to be made an example of.
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The most likely outcome is that he is not found guilty of intent to distribute, if he is found guilty or Mr. Jolly plea’s out for a minor violation (which is a big if because Jolly says it was his friend in the car who had the stuff) Mr. Jolly will get probation which is the outcome 99% of the time. If found guilty or Mr. Jolly plea’s this would put his suspension of 4 games in 2010 season. This is what the outcome will probably be. This whole new technology thing has saved us from no Jolly in 2009.

Ruppert's picture

Bedard quoted somebody who said that the amount of codeine Jolly had was "a couple years worth for someone with a serious pain disorder."

That's a little misdleading in my opinion. It's true IF Jolly had 200g of pure codeine. However, if he had codeine cough syrup (which is a million times easier to obtain on the street than PURE codeine), at standard concentrations, the amount of pure codeine in the solution would be much, much less....maybe even less that 1 gram total.

I believe this machine will be able to tell if it's standard-strength cough syrup or not. If it was standard strength, this case turns into what would equal getting caught with a couple joints. If it's stronger than standard strength, or it WAS pure codeine, then it might be like getting caught with a Nate Newton-esque 100 pounds of pot.

Mr.Man's picture

I completely agree with Ruppert's point. Throughout all of this the exact amount of codeine that they found was unclear. It was some specific number of grams, but it was in liquid form. Well, how did they measure it? This is crucially important, because the amount of the drug determines the severity of the charges the prosecution can bring. I highly doubt folks were planning on guzzling 200 grams of codeine in one sitting. And I bet this was a point the defense was going to argue-- how much codeine was actually in the drinks and how can you be sure? Thus, the argument-- "they don't even know how much was in there! How can you find him guilty of possession over X amount?"

Best case scenario for the Packers is that the test reveals there was only a misdemeanor amount in the liquid, and the charges are dropped in exchange for community service or something similar.

Mr.Man's picture

Also, does this make anyone nostalgic for Najeh Davenport and his "Where's the manure?!" exhortations?

Ruppert's picture

The big question is why the court just didn't send the evidence to some lab to test it. Why does the county need to buy it's own testing machine?

Tax dollars hard at work in Houston!

bucky's picture

The court doesn't send the evidence out because that's the role of the advocate, not the court. If there's codeine in a substance, ok, prove it.

I still want to know how they originally brought charges without knowing how much codeine was present. Seems like the cart before the horse. But then I'm not a prosecutor.

reynoldspainting's picture

I questioned the legality of both this and the Matt Jones case.

Was sitting in a vehicle with the radio on at night probable cause for searching without a warrant?

Turophile's picture

I'm wondering if the stated intent to re-file the case is just an attempt to give the prosecution a base from which they can go forward with the prosecution IF THEY WANT TO.

It seems to me that there is some chance they just let things slide, and if no political pressure gets put on to get a high-profile conviction, it all goes away (and if there is, they have the chance to re-file).

Donald's Designated Driver's picture

I have done some digging and it is all up on my blog. The law is that a controlled substance includes all "adulterants"---and the Harris County DA considers soda an "adulterant." The 200 grams is the total weight of the entire concoctions (including soda and all of the other ingredients in the cough syrup), not the amount of the codeine alone.
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Also, Jolly definitely did not have 200 grams of "codeine." That would be 100 liters of cough syrup and 250x the amount that would kill an average person.

Donald's Designated Driver's picture

RP: I suspect that the officers' story is that they approached the vehicle to tell them to turn down the volume and "smelled" cough syrup. That would give them reasonable suspicion to take a closer look. Once the cops found the contraband it became a search incident to arrest and the cops could search the entire cab area of the car.

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