Feb 042013
 February 4, 2013  Posted by  Court, Surveillance, U.S.

EFF filed an amicus brief today in U.S. v.  Wahchumwah, asking the court for an en banc review. The background on the case:

The United States Fish and Wildlife Services investigated a tip that the defendant was selling eagle parts in violation of the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. After an undercover agent purchased a set of eagle wings and was sent a photograph of immature eagle feathers by the defendant via a text message, the undercover agent went to the defendant’s house wearing a concealed audio/visual device. Once the agent recorded a transaction of a sale of eagle feathers, the agent obtained a warrant and arrested the defendant. The defendant was later convicted by a jury. Upon appeal, the defendant argued that his Fourth Amendment rights were violated by the undercover agent’s warrantless use of a concealed audio visual device to record the transaction inside the defendant’s home, but the appeals court disagreed.  The appeals court also rejected the defendant’s Confrontation Clause challenge, and his objection to the admission of certain photographs of eagles and other bird parts at his trial under Federal Rule of Evidence 403. However, the appeals court reversed  the defendant’s conviction on Counts 2 or 3 and Counts 4 or 5 because those counts were multiplicitous.

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