Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Part 1: Trying to Sort Out Today's Pitonyak Appellate Oral Arguments

I'm going through my notes now and will try to write a more comprehensive post in a little while, but for now, case law cited by both sides was Miles , although each side had a different interpretation of its application as to whether evidence discovered by a private citizen's (Sharon Cave and Jim Sedwick) breaking the law (by breaking into Pitonyak's apartment) should be excluded from trial.

One of Pitonyak's attorneys, Terrence Kirk, said that what the Miles case boils down to is if the police can't do it (e.g., break into an apartment), a private citizen can't do it either--analogous to trespassing--and therefore evidence discovered during that illegal (entry) activity is inadmissible at trial. He further challenged the court to find any case law justifying this kind of illegal entry. Justice Jan Patterson then remarked that the evidence could still come in through Laura Hall's testimony, if she were given immunity and testified.

On this issue, arguing for the State, Bryan Case said that the Miles case says that if the police can do it, an individual person can do it, too, under certain exigent circumstances and that fits this case. Patterson asked, "so Miles is your best authority?" Case answered, "Miles is the best authority other than common sense."

More later...

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