ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A federal appeals court has thrown out the drug conviction of a Canadian woman, criticizing authorities for keeping her shackled during her trial in Albany, though she had no criminal history.
The Second Circuit Court of Appeals says the trial judge failed to investigate potential juror misconduct and improperly allowed a federal agent's testimony that Tara Haynes "realized" there were sealed backs of Ecstasy in the gas tank of her rental car.
She was questioned and arrested crossing the U.S. border into northern New York in 2011.
She was sentenced to almost 16 years in prison.
Defense attorney Brian Barrett says the 35-year-old single mother of two small children from suburban Montreal, who worked for a phone company, was "a blind mule" used by smugglers.