Friday, June 04, 2004

Suppression of evidence by Judge Smith of E.D. Va. reversed

In U.S. v. Foreman, the Fourth Circuit in an opinion by Senior Judge Hamilton, joined by Judge Luttig, with Judge Gregory concurring in part and dissenting in part, reversed Judge Smith's ruling on a suppression motion related to the drugs found in the defendant's vehicle.

I've got the vague impression from reading opinions over the years that Judge Smith is pretty sound.

Judge Gregory, in his separate opinion, says, among other things, "Before this case, I was not familiar with the notion that compliance with the letter of textbook driver’s education instructions would trigger police suspicion, i.e., both hands on the wheel, no rubbernecking." Judge Gregory also suspects that part of the problem on appeal was bad briefing: "the Appellee’s briefing may be partly to blame for the majority’s willingness to accept the government’s narrative."

Reading through this opinion, I wondered about the race of the defendant, and I didn't see it mentioned until I got to Judge Gregory's opinion.

No comments: