WARRANT SERVICE DELAY FOR CHILD PORN IS LEGAL

4th Circuit: WARRANT SERVICE DELAY FOR CHILD PORN IS LEGAL

A warrant for child pornography is exempt from ordinary restrictions that require service within a reasonably brief period to be valid, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals decided.

Child pornographers have been known to keep images on their computers for a long time and other circuits have upheld the seizure of pornography obtained more than five days prior to the issuance of the warrant, the court said.

Harry Peterson asked the court to suppress the evidence because the nexus was excessive between the date of the warrant and the images found on his computer.

“The vitality of probable cause cannot be quantified by simply counting the number of days” between the affidavit and service, the court said.

The court also upheld South Carolina’s law that requires computer technicians to report child pornography when they find it.

Inf.: U.S. v. Peterson, 04-4326, 4th Circ., Oct. 14. The circuit consists of Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia.

Copyright Washington Crime News Service Oct 28, 2005

Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning Company. All rights Reserved