[ExI] fourth amendment question

Adrian Tymes atymes at gmail.com
Wed Oct 22 17:43:26 UTC 2014

On Oct 22, 2014 9:54 AM, "BillK" <pharos at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Wed, Oct 22, 2014 at 5:23 PM, spike wrote:
> > My American friends: if a prole discovers a way to identify a
> > (or more likely the family of the perp) who has never been arrested but
> > left DNA at the scene, would that technique be 4th amendment compliant?

Depends on the technique.  If you mean what I think you mean, said prole's
claim might be enough to get the accused arrested (insofar as it creates
reasonable suspicion in the police about the accused), which may include
DNA sampling regardless of the reason for arrest.  That said prole claims
there is a DNA match is almost irrelevant.

(The police are likely to independently test for a DNA match, since there
is DNA evidence, but they may ignore the prole's purported evidence of a
match if they think that might not be court admissible - say, because said
evidence may not be 4th amendment compliant.)

> On the other hand, would you be liable to a charge of obstructing
> justice or withholding evidence?

Not if no law enforcement officer contacts him about the investigation.
Unless and until one does (or he contacts one about it), he is uninvolved,
regardless of whether he has relevant evidence.
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