The Supreme Court’s ban on displays of seized contraband before the media, which at least one prosecutor says hinders the fight against opioid abuse, is under challenge. But several criminal lawyers say the restriction should remain in place, calling the press conference staple “self-aggrandizing.”

One county prosecutor has asked the Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Professional Ethics to ease the restriction on public displays of seized drugs, guns and cash in light of the epidemic of opioid-related deaths. The petition argued that heightened awareness of the opioid epidemic meets the definition in court rules of a “legitimate law enforcement purpose.” But the ACPE rejected the proposal in its Opinion 731, issued Feb. 17, finding that such displays before trial are likely to contaminate the criminal proceeding. And several ex-prosecutors now in private practice agreed.

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