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7th Circuit affirms search warrant basis

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The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has determined that enough probable cause existed to justify a search warrant that led to a man’s jury convictions on drug charges.

In U.S.A v. Marlon K. Spears, No. 10-3338, the federal appellate court affirmed a decision from Chief Judge Philip Simon in the Northern District of Indiana.

The case involves Marlon Spears, who was the subject of a police search in August 2008 where drugs and a firearm were found in his home. A magistrate judge issued a search warrant for Spears’ home. After that search, the man was arrested and charged with possessing 100 or more marijuana plants with intent to distribute, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and maintaining a place for the manufacture and distribution of marijuana. Spears filed motions to suppress the evidence from the search, challenging statements in the probable cause affidavit that had accompanied the warrant application. The District court held a hearing pursuant to Franks v. Delaware, 438 U.S. 154 (1978), and after determining that the warrant didn’t contain any false statements the court denied the motion.

A jury convicted Spears on all three counts, and he challenged the lower court’s finding that no Franks violation had occurred.
On appeal, the 7th Circuit determined that enough evidence existed in the probable cause affidavit for the warrant to be executed. The appellate panel declined to analyze the issue about how one of the officers relied on information from an informant but didn’t include that in the affidavit. Spears argued that no magistrate judge could infer from the affidavit that the information came from a fellow officer or that the source of the information was reliable.

“Alas, this is not a question we must resolve, because even if we agreed with Spears’s position that the omission was material, misleading, and done so with intent or reckless disregard, and that the District court committed clear error, we would find that the arrant contained sufficient probable cause,” Judge Ann Williams wrote.

 

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  1. Poor Judge Brown probably thought that by slavishly serving the godz of the age her violations of 18th century concepts like due process and the rule of law would be overlooked. Mayhaps she was merely a Judge ahead of her time?

  2. in a lawyer discipline case Judge Brown, now removed, was presiding over a hearing about a lawyer accused of the supposedly heinous ethical violation of saying the words "Illegal immigrant." (IN re Barker) http://www.in.gov/judiciary/files/order-discipline-2013-55S00-1008-DI-429.pdf .... I wonder if when we compare the egregious violations of due process by Judge Brown, to her chiding of another lawyer for politically incorrectness, if there are any conclusions to be drawn about what kind of person, what kind of judge, what kind of apparatchik, is busy implementing the agenda of political correctness and making off-limits legit advocacy about an adverse party in a suit whose illegal alien status is relevant? I am just asking the question, the reader can make own conclsuion. Oh wait-- did I use the wrong adjective-- let me rephrase that, um undocumented alien?

  3. of course the bigger questions of whether or not the people want to pay for ANY bussing is off limits, due to the Supreme Court protecting the people from DEMOCRACY. Several decades hence from desegregation and bussing plans and we STILL need to be taking all this taxpayer money to combat mostly-imagined "discrimination" in the most obviously failed social program of the postwar period.

  4. You can put your photos anywhere you like... When someone steals it they know it doesn't belong to them. And, a man getting a divorce is automatically not a nice guy...? That's ridiculous. Since when is need of money a conflict of interest? That would mean that no one should have a job unless they are already financially solvent without a job... A photographer is also under no obligation to use a watermark (again, people know when a photo doesn't belong to them) or provide contact information. Hey, he didn't make it easy for me to pay him so I'll just take it! Well heck, might as well walk out of the grocery store with a cart full of food because the lines are too long and you don't find that convenient. "Only in Indiana." Oh, now you're passing judgement on an entire state... What state do you live in? I need to characterize everyone in your state as ignorant and opinionated. And the final bit of ignorance; assuming a photo anyone would want is lucky and then how much does your camera have to cost to make it a good photo, in your obviously relevant opinion?

  5. Seventh Circuit Court Judge Diane Wood has stated in “The Rule of Law in Times of Stress” (2003), “that neither laws nor the procedures used to create or implement them should be secret; and . . . the laws must not be arbitrary.” According to the American Bar Association, Wood’s quote drives home this point: The rule of law also requires that people can expect predictable results from the legal system; this is what Judge Wood implies when she says that “the laws must not be arbitrary.” Predictable results mean that people who act in the same way can expect the law to treat them in the same way. If similar actions do not produce similar legal outcomes, people cannot use the law to guide their actions, and a “rule of law” does not exist.

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