Friday, August 12, 2005

US v. Saecho

No. 04-30156 (8-12-05). Defendant was on state probation for domestic violence. He was informed by his state probation officer that he had to answer all questions or face revocation. He also couldn't possess firearms. At the first meeting with probationer, his probation officer kept pressing him about weapons, and pointing to the provision. The defendant than admitted that he had a rifle he used for deer hunting and hadn't decided what to do with it yet. The probation officer went to the defendant's apartment and found the rifle. While past practice had been to allow the probation to get rid of the weapon in 24 hours, the officer here took the evidence to the feds, which resulted in a felon-in-possession charge. On appeal from the district court's suppression of the evidence because of a fifth amendment violation, , the 9th (Reinhardt) affirmed the suppression. The 9th recognized this as an impermissibly coercive penalty threat that abridged defendant's fifth amendment rights as recognized by the Supremes in Murphy. The state (Oregon) cannot penalize the defendant/probationer for remaining silent, as is his right.


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