informationliberation
The news you're not supposed to know...




An Introduction to Austrian Economics: Understand Economics, Understand Everything
The Century of the Self: The Untold History of Controlling the Masses Through the Manipulation of Unconscious Desires
The Disappearing Male: From Virility to Sterility

The Obama Deception: The Mask Comes Off
Operation Gladio: The Hidden History of U.S. Sponsored False Flag Terrorism in EuropeThe New American Century: The Untold History of The Project for the New American Century
(more)
Article posted Apr 25 2010, 4:49 PM Category: Tyranny/Police State Source: The Capital Print

Police may use trash to get a suspect's DNA

High court upholds county rape conviction and ruse police used to get it
By SCOTT DAUGHERTY, The Capital Staff Writer


Police may sift through a suspect's trash, collect a genetic sample and send it off for DNA testing without a warrant, the state's highest court ruled last week in upholding a 2007 county rape conviction.

The 5-2 opinion by the state's Court of Appeals - which was issued Thursday in Annapolis - drew praise from prosecutors who said they had "no doubt" a county police detective was in the right four years ago when she tricked Kelroy Williamson into throwing away a fast food cup and unwittingly giving her a DNA sample.

"I've always thought it was legal, and apparently now five judges do as well," State's Attorney Frank Weathersbee said.

District Public Defender William Davis, who represented Williamson at trial, blasted the majority opinion, though. He said the court is ignoring the U.S. Constitution's protection against unlawful search and seizure, and that Chief Judge Robert M. Bell and Judge Clayton Greene Jr. got it right in their dissenting opinion.

"They aren't chipping away at the Fourth Amendment, they are taking a jackhammer to it," Davis said. He expects police departments across the state to "pick up this opinion and run with it."

"It opens up the door for the police to just follow you around and pick up your DNA and put it in a database," he said.

The opinion stems from a Sept. 21, 2002, rape of a Russian exchange student that police linked to Williamson in 2006 with the help of DNA.

"The writers for the NBC television series 'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit' would be hard-pressed to author an episode full of more issues involving DNA than found in this case," Judge Lynne A. Battaglia wrote in the court's majority opinion.

Williamson, 42, of Baltimore, was convicted Dec. 7, 2007, of first-degree rape, first-degree sex offence and numerous lesser charges. He was sentenced in March 2008 to two consecutive life sentences.

According to court testimony, Williamson attacked a then-18-year-old woman in September 2002 in Severn as she walked to work. He grabbed her off the side of a road, dragged her into the woods and tied her up with her own book bag before raping her and leaving her for dead.

The Capital does not identify victims of sexual assault.

Police were unable to solve the case until 2006, when a lab matched a sample from the victim to a sample from a 1994 attack in which Williamson was involved.

In the 1994 case, Williamson was charged with raping a woman, but ultimately convicted of battery.

Wanting to be sure the 1994 sample was good and Williamson was the man responsible for the 2002 attack, Detective Tracy Morgan of the county's Sex Offense Unit arrested him on an old warrant and arranged for him to eat a free McDonald's meal in a holding cell. When he finished his dinner and left the room, she recovered his trash and sent his used cup to a lab for DNA testing.

The DNA matched, leading police to charge Williamson in the rape and prosecutors to secure a conviction.

"He is a violent sexual predator. He is a wolf in sheep's clothing," Circuit Court Judge Paul A. Hackner said before sentencing Williamson to two consecutive life sentences. "Mr. Williamson should never walk in public for the rest of his life."

It's legal to lie

Tricks, ruses and other forms of subterfuge are common police tactics and generally legal, attorneys and other legal observers said.

They stress police are allowed to lie as long as they don't violate a suspect's rights to remain silent and speak to an attorney, and that detectives don't need a warrant to conduct "trash rips" - operations in which they seize a suspect's trash from outside his home.

"This is long-standing legal precedent," said Jennifer Alexander, a former prosecutor in Anne Arundel County who now works as a defense attorney. She and several other defense attorneys contacted by The Capital said the majority opinion was not unexpected.

Battaglia noted the FBI can even order an inmate to get a haircut and then legally seize the clippings.

"Fourth Amendment protection does not extend to property that is abandoned or voluntarily discarded, because any expectation of privacy in the item searched is discarded upon abandonment," she said.

Using that same logic, Battaglia said police were allowed to seize and test the McDonald's cup.

In the dissenting opinion, Bell agreed police could legally seize the cup without a warrant, but argued they needed a warrant to test it for DNA. He said the abandonment argument was too "simplistic."

"Williamson possessed a reasonable expectation of privacy in his DNA," Bell said.

He noted that under current state law, only people convicted of felonies and burglaries are required to submit DNA samples to police databases. But if the majority opinion is correct, there is no need for such statutes or limitations, he said.

"The state could do as it did here: supply the cup, and instead of disposing of it, analyze the DNA on it. A lot of constitutional questions and litigation could thereby be avoided," Bell said.

For Weathersbee, that doesn't sound so bad.

"Obtaining DNA any way we can is a good thing," he said, pushing for new laws requiring anyone arrested of a crime to have to give police a DNA sample, just as they must give police their fingerprints.

"The more DNA we have, the better off we are," he said.

But for Davis, it's "scary."

"This is not just a law enforcement issue, it is a government issue," he said. "They can collect your DNA and store it for whatever (they want)."





Latest Tyranny/Police State
- Either Praise the Police, or Shut Up
- EFF Guide: Know Your Rights When Dealing With Police
- Obstruction Convictions Uncover Recordings of LA Sheriff's Dept. Officers Threatening FBI Agents And Federal Witnesses
- SWAT Officers Wrongfully Detain This Man For Filming in Public, Then it Gets Really Infuratiating
- Prison Guard Admits to Sexually Assaulting Dozens of Inmates, Selling Drugs in Prison. No Jail Time
- Land of the Free -- 1 in 3 Americans Are on File with the FBI in the U.S. Police State
- Good Cop? Lead Detective in the Murder of James Boyd Blows the Whistle on Albuquerque PD
- Hollow Justice and Courts of Order in an Age of Government-Sanctioned Tyranny









Comments 1 - 2 of 2 Add Comment Page 1 of 1
freedom_man

Posted: Apr 27 2010, 10:14 AM

Link
Never trust a friendly cop.

Even the idea of police lying is disgusting beyond belief - totally out of bounds in any sort of a decent society, but they've been pushing this in eveyr single cop-show for decades now, it's a standard procedure in them. And really, they don't even bother all the time to make it seem "right" to the viewer, but are getting the used to the idea it's ok not only in cases of rape and murder or something, but also in very minor ones. In those cases they always make a little comment that somehow excuses them like that well, maybe we feel bad about this but it needs to be done or whatever. Mind you, i haven't watched a cop show for at least two years, so no doubt it's worse in them today than when i still watched them.
Anonymous

Posted: Apr 27 2010, 11:29 PM

Link
206173 Frank Serpico
Born: 14-Apr-1936
Birthplace: Brooklyn, NY
Executive summary: The most dangerous man alive - An honest cop





Add Comment
Name
Comment

* No HTML


Verification *
Please Enter the Verification Code Seen Below
 


PLEASE NOTE
Please see our About Page, our Disclaimer, and our Comments Policy.


FAIR USE NOTICE
This site contains copyrighted material the use of which in some cases has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available for the purposes of news reporting, education, research, comment, and criticism, which constitutes a 'fair use' of such copyrighted material in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. It is our policy to respond to notices of alleged infringement that comply with the DMCA and other applicable intellectual property laws. It is our policy to remove material from public view that we believe in good faith to be copyrighted material that has been illegally copied and distributed by any of our members or users.

About Us - Disclaimer - Privacy Policy



Advanced Search
Username:

Password:

Remember Me
Forgot Password?
Register

SWAT Officers Wrongfully Detain This Man For Filming in Public, Then it Gets Really Infuratiating - 10/22Obstruction Convictions Uncover Recordings of LA Sheriff's Dept. Officers Threatening FBI Agents And Federal Witnesses - 10/22Either Praise the Police, or Shut Up - 10/22EFF Guide: Know Your Rights When Dealing With Police - 10/22Prison Guard Admits to Sexually Assaulting Dozens of Inmates, Selling Drugs in Prison. No Jail Time - 10/22Video: Cop Arrests Subway Performer For Singing, Despite Cop Reading Aloud Rule Saying It's Permitted - 10/20Land of the Free -- 1 in 3 Americans Are on File with the FBI in the U.S. Police State - 10/22Good Cop? Lead Detective in the Murder of James Boyd Blows the Whistle on Albuquerque PD - 10/22

Rialto, CA Police Made to Wear Cameras, Use of Force Drops by Over Two-ThirdsCop Who Karate Chopped NY Judge In Throat Gets Off Scot-FreeFlorida Cop Smashes Compliant Woman's Face Into Car -- "Maybe Now You Can Understand Simple Instructions"VIDEO: Lapel Cam Reveals A Day In The Life Of A U.S. Police Officer (Tasing, Beating, Breaking & Entering, Stomping On Heads... and Laughing About It)Caught On Tape: Officer Sucker Punches Inmate In Face, Files Report Claiming 'Self Defense'Insult Person On Twitter, Go To JailSWAT Team Brings TV Crew To Film Raid Against Threatening Internet Critic -- Raids Innocent Grandma InsteadCop Karate Chops NY Judge In The Throat
(more)

 
Top