Yesterday, the United States Supreme Court announced which cases it will hear in the upcoming fall term. Among the 14 cases they announced they would be hearing were 2 criminal cases. One of the cases was Kentucky v. King. The cases will decide whether to further erode the exclusionary rule when the police illegally seize evidence. The police were chasing a suspected drug dealer into an apartment building. As they walked down the hallway they smelled marijuana and broke into an apartment. Inside they found King and 2 other individuals with marijuana and crack cocaine. The police did not have a warrant to enter the apartment and the original suspect that the police had been chasing had entered the apartment across the hall. King eventually plead guilty but challenged the search of the apartment on appeal. In January, the Kentucky Supreme Court ruled that the police did not have the right to enter the apartment because there was no emergency and threw out the evidence seized. The Supreme Court agreed to hear the appeal of the Kentucky prosecutors who are arguing that the police were justified in entering the apartment because they made an honest mistake. Last year, the Supreme Court ruled that evidence seized as a result of an honest mistake by the police should not be excluded from evidence. To view our discussion of that Supreme Court decision, click here.
In the second criminal case, the Court will decide whether lab technicians must be required to be available to testify at criminal trials. Last year, the Supreme Court ruled that lab technicians were witnesses for the state and must be made available to testify. But in a case out of New Mexico, Bullcoming v. New Mexico, the courts ruled that a lab worker who simply recorded the results of a blood alcohol testing machine in a DUI case did not have to testify. The Supreme Court will get to decide whether the lab worker could also be required to testify.
For more information about the Chicago criminal defense attorneys at Legal Defenders, P.C., visit us at www.thelegaldefenders.com or call us anytime at 1-800-228-7295.