Friday, July 12, 2002

Judges Split On Detention of Material Witnesses

Yesterday a federal judge in the Southern District of NY ruled that the Government's detention of potential grand jury suspects under the material witness statute is constitutional. Another judge in the same district had ruled it unconstitutional in April.

Judge Judge Shira Scheindlin has taken a lot of heat for finding the material witness statute (read it here) facially ambiguous and in violation of the Fourth Amendment prohibition against unreasonable seizures.

Next step will be an appeal to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, stay tuned.

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