Tags: Criminal law, Possession
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In the case of Kier v. The State, the defendant was convicted of possessing less than one ounce of marijuana. However, the higher court reversed the decision due to insufficient evidence. The State failed to prove Kier's possession of marijuana beyond a reasonable doubt. Kier claimed that the trial court's denial of her motion for a continuance and her motion to produce an incarcerated witness violated her Sixth Amendment rights, but the court did not address these claims. The evidence showed that Kier was a passenger in a car that was stopped by a police officer, but there was no evidence linking her to the marijuana found in the car. The appeals court agreed with the defendant that the evidence was insufficient to support the conviction.
The State failed to prove constructive possession of marijuana by the defendant beyond a reasonable doubt. Mere presence at the scene of the crime is not enough to support a conviction. The State needed to prove that the defendant knowingly had both the power and intention to control the marijuana, which could be inferred from access to the drugs and the surrounding circumstances. The circumstantial evidence presented at trial was consistent with the defendant's theory of innocence, and there was no evidentiary basis to find the defendant guilty of constructive possession of the marijuana. The conviction is reversed.
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