US v. Brown, 09-3643 - U.S. Third Circuit
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US v. Brown, 09-3643

Motion to suppress sample of defendant's DNA in conviction for armed bank robbery

US v. Brown, 09-3643, concerned a challenge to the district court's grant of defendant's motion to suppress a sample of his DNA on the ground that it had been obtained by way of materially and recklessly false warrant affidavit, in a prosecution of defendant for bank robbery and armed bank robbery.


In affirming, the court held that a district court's resolution of the question whether a particular false statement in a warrant affidavit was made with reckless disregard for the truth is subject to reversal only upon a finding of clear error.  The court also held that a court may properly infer that an affiant acted with reckless disregard for the truth where his affidavit contains an averment that was without sufficient basis at the time he drafted it.  Lastly, because the total lack of an evidentiary basis for making an averment can constitute an obvious reason for doubting that averment's veracity, the district court did not clearly err in finding that the officer's conduct rose beyond the level of negligence, to the point of recklessness.

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