Scott Daugherty reports:
Police may sift through a suspect’s trash, collect a genetic sample and send it off for DNA testing without a warrant, the state’s highest court ruled last week in upholding a 2007 county rape conviction.
The 5-2 opinion by the state’s Court of Appeals – which was issued Thursday in Annapolis – drew praise from prosecutors who said they had “no doubt” a county police detective was in the right four years ago when she tricked Kelroy Williamson into throwing away a fast food cup and unwittingly giving her a DNA sample.
District Public Defender William Davis, who represented Williamson at trial, blasted the majority opinion, though. He said the court is ignoring the U.S. Constitution’s protection against unlawful search and seizure, and that Chief Judge Robert M. Bell and Judge Clayton Greene Jr. got it right in their dissenting opinion.
“They aren’t chipping away at the Fourth Amendment, they are taking a jackhammer to it,” Davis said. He expects police departments across the state to “pick up this opinion and run with it.”
Read more in The Capital .