Sunday, January 29, 2006

Reasonable privacy interest in saliva on envelope sent to faux law firm?

This article details a nefarious plot by which Washington-state law enforcement officers cracked a rape/murder case that occurred 15 years prior. The plot entails a teenage suspect who long ago left the state for the East Coast when the DNA technology was less developed. Police obtained DNA evidence at the scene, but were unable to match during the technologically primitive 1980's.

Somehow, they learned of the subject's whereabouts. But unable to extradite without confirming the DNA match, they sent a letter to the suspect, posing as a class-action lawfirm. The return letter that they received proved the smoking gun, and said rapist was arrested. Defense counsel, as well as the ACLU and other lawyer's groups are seeking to overturn this conviction on the grounds that the DNA was improperly obtained (remember the exclusionary rule from Law and Order).