Welcome

Thank you for visiting paducahsun.com, the online home of The Paducah Sun.

Calendar
June 2012
S M T W T F S
27 28 29 30 31 01 02

Click here to submit an event.

Local opinions divided on cellphone searches 

BY ANDREA MOOREamoore@paducahsun.com

Law enforcement authorities and defense lawyers in western Kentucky line up on opposite sides in the debate over whether police should be allowed to conduct a warrantless search of a cellphone. 

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday heard arguments in two cases that dealt with the warrantless search of defendants' cellphones.  The Justice Department is arguing that searches without a warrant do not violate defendants' Fourth Amendment privacy rights. 

An emergency where cellphone information could save someone's life is a good example of why it would be beneficial to not require police to obtain a search warrant, Mayfield Detective Sgt. Mark Watkins said.

He said a search without a warrant could help preserve evidence in some situations.  

"It is becoming more and more common that defendants or friends of defendants will send kill codes to their cellphones that wipe the phone out clean," Watkins said. "At that point all evidence is destroyed."

McCracken Commonwealth Attorney Dan Boaz believes that warrantless cellphone searches can help expedite many cases.

"A ruling in favor of warrantless cellphone searches would definitely help in cases where time is of the essence and drug cases," said Boaz.

However, some defense attorneys say privacy rights are at stake.  

Paducah attorney Will Kautz hopes the court will rule that warrants are required before the police can search cellphones.  

"A cellphone has the ability to store incredible amounts of information," said Kautz. "Even if I were still a prosecutor, I would be hopeful the court would rule in favor of our privacy." 

According to Paducah Police Detective Justin Crowell, a case that involves imminent danger to a child would be a situation where not having to get a warrant to search a cellphone could be critically important.

However, Crowell said as long as there is any doubt about the legality of a cellphone search, the department will follow the protocol now in place and request a warrant.

"If the Supreme Court does allow warrantless searches of cellphones, we will look at it on a case by case basis," said Crowell. 

Contact Andrea Moore, a Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8684.

Comments made about this article - 0 Total

Comment on this article

Your comment has been submitted for approval
captcha ae118a66775b4975bc7ebe8a639ab4b9
Top Classifieds
  • AKC Shih-Tzu Vet checked, $600 731-3 ... Details
  • Bedroom Suites New in Boxes. 6pc. che ... Details
  • PC Repair $35.00270-519-4956270-559-7 ... Details
  • Museum Quality Ornate Antique Furnitu ... Details
  • PILLOW TOPmattress sets NEW in plasti ... Details
  • Owner Financing, new 3000sq ft,in Mar ... Details
  • 5 Broiler Houses80 acres irrigated pa ... Details
  • 375 Acre Farm in Ballard County D ... Details
  • SEEING is believing! Don't b ... Details
  • FHA, USDA, VA & Conventional Loan ... Details
  • 00 TOYOTA AVALON XLS -(270) 994-8031 Details
  • Jaguar XJS-1989 $2,500/ Best Offer Go ... Details

Most Popular
  1. Starfish, WKCTC hosting dancing fundraiser Feb. 25
  2. St. Mary girls beat Tilghman
  3. On television
  1. Paducah art school honors Bill Ford
  2. Fleming Furniture owner facing felony theft charges
  3. Seasoned violinist slated for Feb. 20 PSO performance
  1. Starfish, WKCTC hosting dancing fundraiser Feb. 25
  2. St. Mary girls beat Tilghman
  3. On television
Discussion

Check out these recently discussed stories and voice your opinion...