Phil Dunphy is charged with possession of cocaine with intent to supply, contrary to section 5 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. The prosecution will need to prove that Phil owned the cocaine that PC Delgado took from his house and intended to supply to other people. The prosecution will provide the following evidence.
PC Gloria Delgado Testimony
Evidence found in Phil’s house
Evidence given to Gloria by Phil
Text messages from the mobile telephone
Dr. Pritchard test results and testimony
Dr. Tucker testimony
PC Gloria Delgado was an undercover police officer directly involved in investigating the sale and distribution of cocaine. She was also the officer involved with Phil when he tried and successfully bought cocaine from him. The first evidence should involve giving clear information and evidence regarding how officers undertook the investigation and the details of the meeting between her and the suspect (Grevling, 2020). The information must involve knowledge on how the officer gained information about Phil and why she chooses to try and buy cocaine from him.
The details of the first meeting in the smoking zone should be made public through the testimony and explain why both parties ended up in Phil’s apartment. Both parties’ expectations should be made clear through the testimony to demonstrate that Phil had the sole intent of selling the cocaine he had in the house. The encounter in the house of Phil giving the cocaine and expecting payment in monetary or other means should also be made public to prove intent to distribute the drug. The officer should provide the most incriminating evidence and testimony, considering that she had direct contact with the accused and was an undercover police officer at the time.
The second piece of evidence should come from the testimony of Manny. Manny offers critical evidence considering that she was an informant for PC Gloria Delgado when she remained within the drug ring. Her information pointed the undercover officer towards the ‘Barton Arms Public House’ and the pub where she met Phil. Manny’s testimony is crucial in the courtroom as it helps give both the judge and the jury a clear understanding of the relationship between the informer and the undercover police.
Even more important is the information that Manny could give relating to the inner workings of the drug syndicate. Being an informer, it is evident that she makes a deliberate effort to help the police deal with the vice, which makes her a credible source of information. The defense may work hard to attack her credibility and argue that she is only saying things due to her promised freedom (Ho, 2019). Manny will have to prove that her intentions were good and not simply guided by the promise of freedom and lack of prosecution from the police.
The evidence found in Phil’s house is incriminating. On her first visit, PC Gloria Delgado was able to get three bags from the suspect’s house that she confiscated without his knowledge. The bags contained the majority of the 1.5 kilograms of cocaine that Phil is being prosecuted for. The evidence from the house also includes his jacket, which a witness has spotted him in while he was transacting with other buyers. The weight measures confiscated in the kitchen are also essential evidence that can help prove that Phil intended to distribute.
There is a question of whether the evidence that the officer took and placed in her handbag is admissible, considering that she did not have a search warrant from the courts when she searched in the cupboards. The evidence faces some issues considering how it was collected, and the defense team may have some credible arguments to dismiss the evidence (Hopkins, & Washbourne, 2013). The most notable is the bags with a white subsistence that was later determined to be cocaine. The officer took them without the permission or knowledge of the house owner and without a court warrant to search the house. Therefore, the prosecution will prove that the cocaine was taken from the house and Phil was the rightful owner. The lack of Phil’s fingerprints on the bags will only complicate the matter even further.
Among the strong evidence proving he was dealing is the small cocaine he gave to PC Gloria Delgado despite him not accepting any payment. Phil promised to give Delgado the cocaine while they were outside and did just that when in the house proves that he had access to the cocaine (Keane, & McKeown, 2014). It also shows that he was willing to distribute to other people, and he would do this with or without any payment being given to him. However, he did not specify what mode of payment he wanted from Gloria leaves a loophole for the defense.
The text messages from Phil’s mobile phone also serve an essential role in providing circumstantial evidence for the intent to distribute. Phil had many people that he supplied something that they kept coming back for shows that he was a dealer. The circumstances of the messages when paid with the weights in the kitchen and the suspect’s use of cash only in his daily life point towards a person that deals in criminal activities that generate a lot of revenue in cash. The messages on the phone indicate a specific network of buyers. These messages are, however, very opaque. None of the messages directly referred to cocaine as the product they intended to buy from Phil, which is a loophole. Phil could say that he only sells glucose to other people, which is what they love from him. He could walk away as a free man. The prosecution needs to guarantee that they offer a convincing understanding of the fact even when they could not track the various people who had sent messages.
The prosecution will also present Dr. Pritchard’s test results and testimonials. The doctor was responsible for undertaking the laboratory tests to identify the sized substance in Phil’s house. Through the use of science, it is notable that the doctor was able to identify the 1.5 kilos as being 90% cocaine. The fact that material was scientifically identified as being cocaine gives strength to the prosecution as they prove that Phil had an illegal substance and had it in large quantities.
While the doctor proved that the content in the bags was cocaine, there was no evidence that Phil had ever used the bags. No fingerprints of the suspect were lifted from the bags, which vindicated him as not having had any contact with the bags. The prosecution also has to contend that the bags were stolen (Sprack, 2018) and even in the absence of Phil, who was in the kitchen at the time. Proving that the bags belonged to Phil and that he was aware they were in his cupboard is an uphill task. His argument that his roommate may have placed them may stand in court, and thus the court may find her not guilty of the various activities.
The prosecution must also present Dr. Tucker’s testimony. His testimony relates to the packaging that was found in Phil’s house. Phil Handed the undercover police cocaine packages in small amounts, and those were the only small parkers found in the house. On the other hand, the large pargets also had unique packaging. The doctor’s analysis is critical in helping to make a link scientifically and prove that the person who made the small packages also made the large ones. The process helps connect the small packages known to have been made by Phil with the large packages of 1.5 kilos that do not have the fingerprints of Phil.
The question of how admissible the evidence is has to be raised, considering that it is a new science that is not commonly used in forensic science. The defense team has a critical case to make as they can argue that the science used to argue about the packaging is not proven and may be inaccurate (Wüllenweber, & Giles, 2021). The fact that the skills used by Dr. Tucker have never been used before in a court case within the United Kingdom makes the science to be unproven. The use of science in Australia does not give the process enough credibility considering that it is also not commonly used. The prosecution needs to prove the scientific nature of the process and its accuracy as a whole.
Lastly, the prosecution must present the statement made by Hayley. Hayley was at a unique location where she could see the suspect making transactions when dealing with customers at the club. The evidence points to the fact that she had witnessed Phil wearing the jacket taken during the search in his house. While Hayley may have been unable to testify effectively in court, it is possible to give her statement to the court as evidence to ascertain that what she was saying is true. The statement should be signed to prove that she gave it willingly. The statement is just as good as her verbal words and would help the prosecution considerably in making their case.
Undercover Policing and Underwhelming Laws
The policing policy has always required the law enforcement officers to have access to information that they would not be able to get simply by routine operations. The development of information and data that is commonly found with insiders makes enforcement of laws to be easier and more effective. As police have increased surveillance intending to improve policing results, the laws governing their actions have remained unchanged. The effect has been an increase in the incidents among these officers that can neither be seen as being positive nor morally right.
One notable case was the case of an undercover officer that went as far as having an intimate relationship with a suspect in the process of gaining their trust and getting more information from them. The single most important task that an officer is tasked with is to get inside information about a person or organization to understand better how they did something or how they will do something in the future (Walker & Hyland, 2014). Therefore, gaining the suspect’s trust requires a person to become part of their social circle and develop effective communication strategies that can help them get the information they want.
From an ethical standpoint, the decision to get involved sexually with a suspect as a process of developing a better relationship makes a person question the presence of limitations in the career and actions they can take. In the case of Mark Kennedy, it is notable that the development of people’s mental health is dependent on the well-being of the other people around a person. The ability of people to resist the urge to watch various content after they have watched it as part of their job considering the mental health of individual changes from one person to another. The law should be adjusted to effectively explain what is allowed and not within a governance structure.
Another critical area that has developed over the last two years has been the growth of the internet and its users. Many social media sites and social sites have access to private data that they then use. The many different data points that we generate online could provide critical information that has been used for undercover policing. The process covers using listeners to phone calls and reading text messages sent from one party to another. The technology exists, and many private e companies can effectively make and sell such technology to many law enforcement departments worldwide.
The development of clear laws should regulate what an officer should do when faced with certain specific situations. The permissions such as a court order should be required for all electronic surveillance that is undertaken. Having a good understanding of the legal limitations can help police officers conduct electronic surveillance effectively and get the information they can use to reduce or stop crime within a particular area (Walker, & Hyland, 2014). Developing new laws that cover platforms such as social media sites can also help law enforcement in new areas.
The level of admissible information is also a significant consideration that the current law review needs to consider. Understanding the different levels of admissibility checks the different limits that a court considers when deciding if the evidence produced by various parties in court is admissible and can be used legally. The law was developed with limits set for the police officers to guarantee that they do their job healthily and moderately. The police are limited on their methods to collect data and the disclosures they need to make when collecting the evidence.
The significant gap, in that case, is that the law does not consider what undercover police officers go through and the opportunities they get. Unlike normal investigators, it is expected that undercover police officers will have more interactions with offenders, which presents the opportunity to collect evidence that can be used for effective prosecution. Making the laws more flexible on that front can help the prosecution put many more criminals behind bars as a lot of evidence currently unpresentable in court could become valid and could be used to prosecute many more suspects.
Many privacy rights are guarantee by article 8 of the constitution, and these privacy rights have to be observed to confirm that the correct process is used when checking the wrongs that a person may have done. It is necessary to confirm that the privacy of all citizens is respect, and the various courts must place the right weight on the privacy of people when assessing the investigations process (Walker & Hyland, 2014). Suspects’ privacy should be observed by only taking evidence when allowed by the individual or the courts through a court order. The various privacy laws ought to get more weight when considerations are being made.
Compliance with Article 6 of the European convention is a critical item that helps confirm that the judicial process follows the required processes. The European convention provides for the different strategies that could be used to effectively deliver justice within a country to guarantee that the rights of people are observed. Having the right balance between observing Article 6 of the European Convention and Article 8 of the constitution can help provide a justice system that is both fair and effective in handling those that are found guilty of various crimes within the society. The process requires that the methods used by the justice system are changed and made both effective and fair when handling criminal justice cases (Murphy, 2020).
Undercover police work that is not effectively regulated could have more negative effects in the long term than could have positive effects. Undercover policies require a very close interaction between the police and the criminal entities. The process directly leads to some doubt being raised about the police and their credibility. When the credibility of the police is affected by the public, it is more likely that the public will view the police department as part of the corrupt criminal underground. If the public were to lose their trust in the police, enforcing laws will be more challenging. Having effective laws can help guarantee the process is above board and the police retain their legitimacy.
The law enforcement agencies must always get enough and adequate legal support that can facilitate their work. At the same time, it is essential to consider the privacy of the suspects involved in various crimes (John, & Maguire, 2019). It is more important to have an environment where law enforcement agencies have the means and resources to tackle the many crimes within the country’s borders. By facilitating undercover policing, it is possible for the police to effectively catch the criminals while undertaking various criminal activities, thus helping people reform.
The criminal justice system does need reforms to make the considerations that are made by the courts to be more balanced. The development of a justice system that has the right balance is possible right now. Considering that the United Kingdom could move out of the European Union, it is possible to develop and pass new laws into operations. The laws must amend Part II of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 to develop an up-to-date law concerning the criminal activities faced and the technology available to criminals and the law enforcement authorities.
Grevling, K. (2020). Blackstone’s Statutes on Evidence. Oxford University Press.
Ho, H. L. (2019). The Fair Trial Rationale for Excluding Wrongfully Obtained Evidence. In Do Exclusionary Rules Ensure a Fair Trial? (pp. 283-305). Springer, Cham.
Hopkins, B., & Washbourne, E. (2013). Key Cases: Evidence. Routledge.
John, T., & Maguire, M. (2019). Police Surveillance and its regulation in England and Wales. In Invading the Private (pp. 47-66). Routledge.
Keane, A., & McKeown, P. (2014). The modern law of evidence. Oxford University Press, USA.
Murphy, B. (2020). Regulating undercover policing: Subjects, rights, and governmentality. Critical Criminology, 28(1), 65-84.
Purshouse, J. (2014). The Privilege against Self-Incrimination and Criminal Justice by Andrew LT Choo.
Sprack, J. (2018). The modern law of evidence, by Adrian Keane and Paul McKeown, Oxford, Oxford University, 2016, 753 pp.,£ 35.99 (paperback), ISBN 978-0-19-874929-5. The Law Teacher, 52(1), 128-129.
Walker, C., & Hyland, K. (2014). Undercover policing and underwhelming laws. Available at SSRN 2469190.
Wüllenweber, S., & Giles, S. (2021). The effectiveness of forensic evidence in the investigation of volume crime scenes. Science & Justice, 61(5), 542-554.