Thursday, April 22, 2010
The Maryland Court of Appeals has affirmed a conviction for rape and related offenses, concluding that the trial court had improperly admitted DNA evidence at trial. The court's opinion begins as follows:
The writers for the NBC television series Law & Order Special Victims Unit would be hard pressed to author an episode full of more issues invoolving DNA than found in this case in which the Anne Arundel County police , in 2006, matched DNA of the Appellant...retrieved from his discarded McDonoald's cup to the DNA found in two separate rape victims' forensic medical examinations in 1994 and 2002.
The court rejected claims predicated in the Maryland DNA Collection Act as well as the Fourt Amendment.
Chief Judge Bell, joined Judge Greene, dissented, and would hold that the court majority improperly relied on the doctrine of abandonment. The dissenters would find that a warrant was required. (Mike Frisch)