You to can be one. taken from Three Felonies a Day by Harvey A Slivergate.



HypotheticalYou are the parent of a teenage son. You discover illegal drugs hidden in his bedroom. Instead of contacting the police, you decide to destroy the narcotics and punish his transgressions on your own. Unbeknownst to you, the police had launched an investigation just days before. Because you have destroyed evidence in an ongoing investigation, you have just committed an arguable federal felony:

Real-life examplePhilip Russell, a lawyer from GreenwichConnecticut, was indicted in 2007 for obstruction of justice. A church had contacted this well-respected attorney when it found images of child pornography on an employee’s computer. Russell knew that child porn is illegal even to possess (“contraband”) and that holding, rather than destroying it, arguably would be criminal. He decided to destroy the images in the best interest of his client. He didn’t know that the government had launched an investigation of the church employee just days before. For this, he was charged with obstruction of justice, and eventually pleaded to a lesser crime in an agreement with prosecutors. With this same logic, prosecutors could indict parents that choose to destroy—rather than report to officials—narcotics that they find in the possession of their son or daughter.


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