Statetap: Gon’ need a warrant for that

Statetap: Gon’ need a warrant for that

Is drawing blood from a driver suspected of driving under the influence without a warrant an “unlawful search?” That’s the question at the heart of a Colorado case making its way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The case revolves around a Colorado man who plowed into an oncoming car in the middle of a busy intersection over two years ago. An Arapahoe County police officer ordered a blood draw on the man, but because she didn’t obtain a warrant to do so, the evidence that he had a blood alcohol content nearly three times the legal limit wasn’t admitted in trial. Now, prosecutors are asking the court to admit the evidence anyway, which would make it a lot easier for law enforcement to draw blood from DUI suspects without a judge’s go-ahead in the future. The defense is arguing that if the court grants the prosecutions’ request, everyone’s Fourth Amendment rights could be affected. Notably, the New York Police Department’s controversial “stop-and-frisk” tactics are also at the center of the debate over what constitutes an “unlawful search.” The court could decide whether it’ll take up the case as early as January. Via the Denver Post.

statetap The poverty rate in El Paso County is rising. But as is the case in the rest of the country, the rich are getting richer while the poor are getting poorer. The latest U.S. Census American Community Survey, released Thursday, shows that between 2009 and 2013, more than 12 percent of people in El Paso County were living below the poverty line. In 2013, the poverty threshold was an annual income under $23,834 for a family of four. The Gazette has the full report.

Not gonna rule it out: the judge in the Aurora movie theater shooting case has rejected the defense’s latest attempt to take the death penalty off the table. They’ve argued that defendant James Holmes’s mental illness would make executing him “cruel and unusual.” But in his ruling released Thursday, the judge wrote that Holmes’s mental health status is still in contention and that even if he is mentally ill, that may not necessarily mean that capital punishment would be “cruel and unusual.” Gov. Hickenlooper’s recent death row reprieve of Nathan Dunlap and his election season declaration of an anti-death penalty stance signals state policy may be subject to change in the near future. Via the Gazette.

This weekend in Durango was the Four Corners FIRST LEGO League Robotics Tournament – an event described as “part science fair, part research project and part robot games” in which teams of kids age 9 to 14 compete in robotics, programming and design. This year, more girls participated than ever before, with a team of girl scouts from Mesa Verde winning the “core values” category and an all-girls team from Farmington winning the robot design challenge. Via the Durango Herald.

A company that was denied two permits by the Aurora Marijuana Enforcement Division (AMED) is suing the city for conspiring when it awarded licenses to recreational pot shops back in August. The suit claims the process was conducted according to “unwritten rules that appear to have been made up and changed at the whim of AMED officials.” Attorneys representing Metro Cannabis say shops at strategic geographic locations were given preference because they could bring in more revenue. Via the Aurora Sentinel.

After a student demonstrated just how easy it is to log onto other students’ accounts, Pueblo City School District 60 is heightening security. The problem, as KRDO‘s Carl Winder reports, is that students were given nearly identical usernames and passwords to access Infinite Campus – the program that contains students’ grades, attendance records, missing assignments, class schedules, immunization records, grade-point averages, home addresses, telephone numbers, names of family members, and assessment scores. Meanwhile, two kids in the computer lab laugh and high-five.

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About the Author

Nat Stein

Nat Stein is a Denver-based reporter. Check out her other work at Cipher magazine, KRCC public radio, Jacobin magazine and In These Times.

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