Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Enjoy the holiday, everyone.  It's my week to post, but b/c I won't be in the office the rest of the week, I will post early next week.  Sorry for the delay!

Thursday, November 08, 2012

A win's a win

Today's Newsome case shows offers a bit of a technical knock-out, vacating a gun conviction on Fourth Amendment grounds involving, at least in part, the plain-view doctrine.

After an attempted shooting, officers obtained an arrest warrant for Mr. Newsome based on a witness's identification from a photo-array.  Upon executing the search warrant at Mr. Newsome's home, officers conducted their typical "protective sweep," finding crack cocaine and heroin on a dresser in the bedroom (natch).  They also searched the pocket of a jacket that they found in the kitchen, locating a handgun.  The Sixth Circuit's opinion, penned by Judge Sutton, found no problem with the arrest warrant, the protective sweep, or the seizure of the drugs.  But the gun was a different story.  It was not in plain view, and the warrant did not mention a gun. 

As the opinion notes, this won't affect Mr. Newsome's sentence, given that all of his sentences were to run concurrently, but it gets at least one felony conviction off his record (and saves him a $100 special assessment).