- Sep 17, 2020
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<modsnip: quoted post was removed>
the quoted post specifically asked about the warrant for the garbage search at the kohberger home and specific to this case. my reply is both general and specific. icbw, but the Kohberger defense may or may not address this evidence. imo jmo.
It is legal in PA to search garbage abandoned at the curb. Garbage left in the curtilage around the home, however, is a different thing altogether. This link was allowed previously, so I use it again:
bolding is mine. explanation from the link, quoting here for ease of access
Curtilage. Curtilage is a somewhat elusive concept to understand because there are no steadfast rules to define it. The Supreme Court stated that curtilage is the area of a property that houses the “intimate activity associated with the sanctity of a man’s home and the privacies of life.” Although this may sound eloquent, it does not quite give the average person a solid idea of what curtilage actually is.
Generally, curtilage is considered to be the area in and around the home where the owners and/or occupants have a reasonable expectation of privacy from government intrusion. This could encompass anything from an outdoor shed to a fenced backyard. Because of the expectation of privacy associated with these areas, police officers may be required to have a warrant, consent, or exigent circumstance before they are legally allowed to enter into the curtilage.
Garbage. Police can search your garbage in Pennsylvania if it is placed on your curb for pick up. Once the trash is placed on the curb, it is considered abandoned property and the police may seize it or search it for evidence of illegal activity.
re the kohberger case:
Imo jmo Curtilage v curb can sometimes get sticky. apparently, the trash in PA was at the curb. I would not be totally shocked if the defense sees it differently, however. that's jmo icbw. Many (most) will dismiss my caveat, but the curb v. curtilage re expectation of privacy has happened before.
here's WA to give a perspective on some of the arguments. see link below as an example. cut to 1294. relevant as to any trash search in the kohberger case but idk know that there was one. just including for context as to how things can be interpreted, and relevant b/c PA also as higher expectation, so on my radar as a potential consideration imo jmo icbw
Pennsylvania does have a higher expectation of privacy, as does WA state, but the courts' interpretations/ applications of that can still be quite different. imo jmo ime it is never wise to use one case to support an opinion. it requires research and evaluation imo jmo ime.
Thank you, SGH! I know the mods want to prevent going off-topic, but IMO, the reason they needed the trash in order to confirm BK is important to the case if the new information regarding an out-of-state lab is true. This added piece of information re: PA law regarding trash is also important, IMO. All MOO. June can't come too soon.