After eight years, Patrick Gregory Schmid has been discharged on charges he faced for carrying traces of cocaine.
The local attorney was charged with carrying 0.0085 grams of the drug in his carry-on luggage in 2006.
In the Grand Court on Tuesday, Justice Alexander Henderson told the jury “the trial has come to a premature end.”
“The amount of cocaine in issue of 0.0085 grams is so small as to the amount of a mere trace,” Justice Henderson said,
He said it was difficult to know if Mr. Schmid was aware he was carrying the substance and he instructed the jury they must find Mr. Schmid not guilty.
“This brings us to a strange and archaic ritual,” Justice Henderson said. “I direct you as a matter of law that the verdict must be not guilty.”
He continued, “It may seem that was for nothing, in fact, it is a necessary part of the process.”
The jury, of four women and three men, then delivered their verdict as instructed.