Words from the Western District Court of Appeals this last week. The case State v. Clampitt, WD73943, involves a case of 4th amendment search and seizure law, and right to privacy issues.
In that case, the Western District upheld the trial courts judgment in granting a motion to suppress cell phone text messages from a defendant. This case will have far reaching implications in the criminal context. The court decided that when the prosecutor requested multiple broad investigative subpoenas instead of specific limiting search warrants, they went too far. This case solidifies another small victory for 4th amendment search and privacy issues. This along with the Jones case, has made for a solid week of protection of individual rights to be free from state (aka police, prosecutor, government) intrusions
The prosecutors tried in their own right to say even though they did wrong, they should still be allowed to use the information gathered. The courts (trial and appellate) both said no. One, you were using the subpoenas for a fishing expedition to get the defendant to confess; as opposed to searching for specific evidence. Two, you can’t hide behind the good faith exception, that applies to police conduct only; and third, altogether you participated in misconduct, which will not be rewarded. http://www.courts.mo.gov/file.jsp?id=52095