Thomas Peele discusses the upcoming Supreme Court case on GPS surveillance and points out how a murder conviction might be affected by it:
A legal case with implications that some say spring straight from the pages of George Orwell’s “1984” is headed to the Supreme Court in November, and its outcome could have a major impact on one of the Bay Area’s biggest murder cases in the past decade.
Justices are being asked to decide whether law enforcement officers need a warrant to hide GPS devices on suspects’ cars to track their movements using satellites and computers.
Earlier this year, evidence from a tracking device installed without a warrant on a car belonging to Yusuf Bey IV, the former leader of Oakland’s Your Black Muslin Bakery, helped convict him and another man in the 2007 murder of journalist Chauncey Bailey. Bey IV’s lawyer argued the tracking data was obtained illegally, but a judge ruled otherwise.
If the Supreme Court rules that installing a tracker without a warrant violates the Fourth Amendment protection against unfair searches and seizures, the convictions of Bey IV and his co-defendant Antoine Mackey could be thrown out and a new trial ordered on Bailey’s murder, legal experts said. Two other murder convictions against Bey IV and one against Mackey would not be affected.
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