An Appeal to Remember

In US v. Crabtree, the Fourth Circuit tackled the controversial issue of whether  there is a “clean hands”  exception to Title III of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, 18 U.S.C.A. §§ 2510 – 2522 (West 2000 & Supp. 2008). The court held that the language of § 2515 unambiguously prohibits the use of intercepted conversations in court. Daniel Crabtree was sentenced to twenty-four months imprisonment for violating the terms of his supervised release, based on recorded telephone conversations submitted by Crabtree’s jealous girlfriend to his probation officer. The court held that even though the government was not involved in recording these conversations, which were recorded without Crabtree’s consent or knowledge, such evidence was not permissible and vacated the district court’s judgment and remanded for further proceedings.

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