Check the warrant

Check the warrant, or in the military the search authorization.

The recent decision of the Army Court of Criminal Appeals in a government appeal tells you why it’s important to check the warrant.

In United States v. Gurzynski, the court had before it a government appeal of a military judge’s decision to suppress evidence of a computer media search.

The accused was charged with “attempted sexual abuse of a child, abusive sexual contact with a child and other offenses related” to the allegations against the appellant.”  The CID got a warrant to search for the related evidence.  However, in the process the examiners came across a picture they believed was CP.  Rather than stop and seek an expansion of the warrant, they went ahead and conducted a full search.  Essentially,

Noting that search warrants must be specific, the military judge found the same was not true for child pornography because nothing in the warrant or supporting affidavit mentioned anything “even closely approximating evidence of child pornography.” See United States v. Carey, 172 F.3d 1268 (10th Cir, 1999). In this respect, the DA Form 2922, relied upon by SA CP, impermissibly expanded on the scope of the warrant. The military judge also noted the nature of the charges, given their plain statutory meaning, did not remotely contemplate the possession, creation or distribution of child pornography.

The military judge rejected application of the plain view doctrine.

Government appeal denied.