Charles F. Daum, a defense lawyer, was sentenced on Tuesday to five years in prison for his part in a conspiracy to fake evidence and get witnesses to lie in court during a trial regarding drugs, according to The Washington Post.
Daum was charged in 2011 and U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler said that the manipulation of the criminal courts is the most serious offense that is nonviolent. Kessler said that if judges and juries cannot rely on evidence being correct, “then our system of justice loses its fundamental integrity and the confidence of the public. We all rely on what a lawyer says to us in the courtroom.”
Daum was found guilty in June for masterminding a conspiracy to create fake evidence and induce perjury. He was trying to help his client during a trial in 2008. The private investigators hired by Daum, Daaiyah Pasha and Iman Pasha, were also found guilty by Kessler of conspiring to obstruct justice. Daaiyah Pasha was sentenced to three months in jail and her daughter to three years’ probation.
The client he tried to help was drug dealer Delante White, who was facing a mandatory 20-year prison sentence if found guilty on charges of possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine. Daum obtained his JD from George Mason University. He began his criminal defense practice in 1994.
“He went astray and crossed the line in a big way,” Daum’s attorney, David Schertler, said. “In a bizarre and unjustified way, he felt he was leveling the playing field and helping a young man.”
Kessler said in her June ruling that Daum told his investigators, White’s family members, White’s girlfriend, and White to lie on the witness stand and fabricate evidence. White pled guilty to drug dealing, obstruction of justice, and tampering with witnesses after prosecutors learned of what happened. He has been sentenced to 33 months in prison.