CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

"District Court Suppresses Evidence After Government Obtained Warrant, Made Copies and Returned the Original Computers, But Did Not Search (Or Finish Searching) the Copies In a Reasonable Period of Time"

From Orin Kerr at The Volokh Conspiracy, who also links to the opinion. Professor Kerr's take, in part:

It sounds like Judge Irizarry was really annoyed by the Government’s conduct. At the same time, I have trouble understanding exactly what Fourth Amendment principle Judge Irizarry thinks was violated here. She seems to be assuming that the Fourth Amendment ensures a right to the privacy of information seized pursuant to a search warrant if the information seized is not within the scope of the warrant. The idea seems to be that the government needs to complete its review of seized information quickly so the data outside the scope of the warrant can be taken outside the government’s reach — kind of a duty to separate the digital wheat from the digital chaff in a reasonable period of time, even if the government has warrants and the owners have their computers back.

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