Supreme Court Adds Criminal Cases to Docket

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The Supreme Court, in advance of starting its new term on Monday, added 11 new cases to its docket, including several criminal law issues, Scotusblog reports. The Fifth Amendment’s “self-incrimination clause” provides that no one “shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.” In City of Hays, Kansas v. Vogt, the justices will decide whether the Fifth Amendment is violated when statements are used at a probable cause hearing but not at a criminal trial. The case involves Matthew Vogt, who while working for the city of Hays, applied for a job as a police officer in another city. He told Hays he had kept a knife that he had acquired on the job, which led to two felony charges against him. He argued that statements about the knife were wrongly used against him at a hearing.

In another case, Collins v. Virginia, the justices agreed to clarify whether the  “automobile exception” to the warrant requirement applies to a motorcycle parked on private property, close to a home. The case arose when officers looking for a motorcyclist who had eluded them saw a picture of a motorcycle on petitioner Ryan Collins’ Facebook page. They found the house where Collins spent at least several nights each week, and located the motorcycle under a tarp toward the back of the driveway, near the house. When Collins was charged with receiving stolen property, he said officers should have had a warrant to search his house. The high court now will hear his arguments.  In a Louisiana case, the justices will decide whether it is unconstitutional for defense counsel to concede a defendant’s guilt over the defendant’s objection.

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