People v. Mooring, et al.
No. A143470; 15 Cal.App.5th 928 (opn 9/27/2017, mod 10/23/2017, rev den 1/17/2018)
Errors: Facts: Error/Omission
Court: 1st District, Div 5
Errors Found/Argued: Errors not found by another court
Summary: A chemist looked at photos of prescription pills on “Ident-a-Drug” and said they were a “presumptive match.” No chemical test was done, and there was no expert testimony that the pills were controlled substances. The Court of Appeal was satisfied with the photos, in part because the chemist [Meldrum] also “did not think the pills were counterfeit.” (Slip opinion, p. 4; see also p. 21: she “testified she did not believe the pills were counterfeit.” The Attorney General had made the same assertions in the respondent’s brief. But there was no such testimony. Instead, Meldrum testified, “I don’t know with any certainty that any of these are not counterfeit pills because I did not do a chemical analysis.” And: “[I]t is important to express those are not — just because those features aren’t there, doesn’t mean the pill isn’t counterfeit.” And: “I’m unable to visually look at a tablet and say with any certainty that it’s a legitimate or counterfeit pill, no.” And: The Internet wouldn’t help, because such a determination “would require chemical analysis.” And: She “can’t be certain what’s in the pills without actually performing any confirmatory tests.” (See Petition for Review, pp. 21-23, including detailed transcript quotations.)