Monday, January 05, 2009

One Defense Attorney's Idea Of What Makes An Arrest Illegal

From Centre Daily:

The arrest that led police to a man who they say raped and nearly killed a woman in her State College apartment on the Fourth of July 2007, was not “illegal” as his attorney had argued, a judge ruled.

Centre County Judge Thomas King Kistler will not suppress the evidence collected from 31-year-old Michael Kuhn after his August 2007 arrest, when police charged him with peeping into the window of another woman who lived nearby.

Kuhn’s attorney, Ed Blanarik, argued that seeing Kuhn climbing through bushes in an area where the woman had complained that a man was peering into her window did not give police reason to arrest him on a loitering and prowling charge in August.

But Kistler sided with Assistant District Attorney Nathan Boob and ruled that it did.

So often in rape cases those who side with defendants talk about only wanting to protect the innocent. Yet if the judge had sided with the defense attorney that would have done nothing to protect the innocent.

The challenged arrest in no way meets any reasonable standard for dangerous police practices. This wasn't a man who was arrested on trumped up charges. This was a man arrested for charges that matched his reported behavior. His behavior is what led the police to have the evidence which his attorney wished they didn't have.

With the increasing number of DNA samples which can be taken from those who are arrested I believe this type of challenge will become much more common. Defense attorneys should look out for their clients due process rights but many times challenges such as this have nothing to do with rights and everything to do with trying anything to win.

Peering into a woman's window is a crime and too often the injustice is having police ignore the report because this behavior is dismissed as harmless. As this case shows the assumption that those called Peeping Toms are harmless is a false assumption.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 8:13 AM   0 comments links to this post


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