Fortunately, this sort of thing could not happen in a country where juries provide the ultimate check on the power of the state to punish. The case just described, for instance, derives from some remote, tyrannous locale called "Wisconsin". The defendant was found guilty of possessing powdered cocaine -- a conviction that might have netted him three years in prison. He simultaneously was acquitted of a charge of possessing crack cocaine. The farsighted magistrate, the Solon of the Seventh Circuit, Judge John Shabazz, nevertheless sentenced the possessor of the unapproved substance(s) to 18 years in prison, relying on precedent that allows judges to alter sentences based on charges for which defendants are acquitted. The Supremes let the injustice stand.
So let's see if I've got this right. I'm accused of tax evasion and first-degree murder. I'm acquitted of the murder charge, but can still get the chair because I was charged with murder about the time I accelerated that depreciation on my business computer?
Oh, and in Australia the Race Discrimination Commissioner (h/t Thoughts on Freedom) want to move the burden of proof for racial discrimination charges to the accused. Ever try to prove a negative? I know Al Mascitti doesn't believe in slippery slopes, but that's the ultimate destination of the current it's the seriousness of the charge, not the nature of the evidence BS that crops up here in similar cases. . . .