Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Fourth Amendment and Miranda Still Alive and Kicking

If you're in need of a little mid-week constitutional pick-me-up, we've got just the cases for you.

Last week, in United States v. Williams, the Ninth Circuit affirmed a district court suppression order, holding that when a defendant charged with murder invokes his Miranda rights, the government may not admit in its case-in-chief evidence of the defendant’s later unadmonished responses to a jailer's booking questions about his gang affiliation.

Also last week, in United States v. Abernathy, the Sixth Circuit reversed a district court order denying suppression, holding that a trash hit yielding "several marijuana roaches" and T-2 laced packaging material was insufficient standing alone to provide probable cause for a search warrant. (The affidavit originally contained additional corroborating allegations, but those were stricken as violating Franks. Given this Franks violation, the Sixth Circuit refused to apply Leon's good-faith exception to excuse execution of the bad warrant.)

Now, then, doesn't that make you feel better?

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