Proctoscopy conducted pursuant to warrant issued on probable cause, culminating in the discovery of 9.62 grams of crack cocaine in a plastic bag in defendant's rectum, violated the defendant's right to personal privacy and dignity. United States v. Gray, 669 F.3d 556 (5th Cir. 2012).
“When the district court denies a motion to suppress, we review factual findings for clear error and conclusions of law de novo.” United States v. Payne
, 341 F.3d 393, 399 (5th Cir. 2003) (citation omitted). “Evidence is considered in the light most favorable to the prevailing party. The ultimate conclusion about the constitutionality of the law enforcement conduct is reviewed de novo.” United States v. Roberts
, 612 F.3d 306, 309 (5th Cir. 2010) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted). This “ultimate conclusion,” which is reviewed de novo, includes “the sufficiency of the warrant or the reasonableness of an officer’s reliance on a warrant” for purposes of the good faith exception. United States v. Allen
, 625 F.3d 830, 834 (5th Cir. 2010).
“The overriding function of the Fourth Amendment is to protect personal
privacy and dignity against unwarranted intrusion by the State.” Schmerber v. California
384 U.S. 757, 767 (1966). This case forces us to balance
thisfundamental interest in a person’s bodily integrity and dignity
against the significant need of law enforcement officers to unearth
evidence of crime. Specifically, the Appellant Rondrick Gray was forced
to undergo a proctoscopic examination under sedation pursuant to a
warrant obtained on the police’s belief that he was concealing crack
cocaine in his rectum. Weighing the competing interests, we find that
the search was unreasonable but that the evidence should not be
suppressed because the police acted in good-faith reliance on a valid
search warrant. Accordingly, we AFFIRM.
Posted Fri, October 26, 2012 - 1:01:05