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March 9, 2007

Interesting parolee search case from the Tenth Circuit

Some might be inclined to read the Supreme Court's decision in Samson last year as a sign that parolee have virtually no Fourth Amendment rights.  But the Tenth Circuit's decision in US v. Freeman, No. 05-3437 (10th Cir. Mar. 8, 2007) (available here), suggests that the death of the Fourth Amendment for parolees after Samson may be exaggerated.

Perhaps inspired by the defendant's surname, the Tenth Circuit in Freeman reverses the district court's denial of a parolee's motion to suppress evidence found in the warrantless search of the parolee's home.  The Freeman opinion covers lots of interesting Fourth Amendment ground, and here's how Samson fits into the analysis: "We interpret the Knights-Samson line of cases as resting on the parolee’s diminished expectation of privacy stemming from his own parole agreement and the state regulations applicable to his case.  As we shall see, neither rationale justifies the search in this case."

March 9, 2007 at 10:18 AM | Permalink

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Comments

Aren't parolees considered, for constitutional purposes, as prisoners?

Posted by: federalist | Mar 12, 2007 1:16:34 PM

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