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Court Rules on Legality of Wiretapping


On November 13, 1963, abortion was illegal in the state of New York. However, that does not mean that illegal abortions were not being performed. Abortion was treated like any other crime in New York and the following case describes the criminalization and fear that was attached to such crimes. A New York Criminal Lawyer said on May of 1962, a woman appeared before the Grand Jury of the state of New York and testified that three men were forcing her to be involved in a criminal abortion of the fetus that she carried. With this information in hand, the police set out to arrest the men involved in providing illegal abortions.

They obtained a court order from a Supreme Court judge for a wiretap of the woman’s phone. It was over this wiretap, that the police intercepted several telephone conversations arranging for the woman to pay the men $500 to conduct an illegal abortion. The wiretaps revealed that there was a criminal conspiracy to conduct this felony act in the state of New York. In order for a warrant to be obtained for a wiretap, the police officer must request the order from a judge and be deposed as to the facts of the case that warrant the necessity of such an order. In the present case, the judge also deposed the woman who stated the facts as she had stated them to the police officer. The wiretap was granted. Several months later, off of the record, the woman claimed that she had committed perjury before the grand jury in making the statements that she did. That perjury was subject to making the wiretap and all of the evidence that was obtained through it, illegal.

A few months later, the court sought an extension of the original order based on the same information as the first. The woman stated that on November 13, 1963 she went to 88-24 Merrick Boulevard for the purpose of obtaining an abortion. She stated that one of the three men gave her drugs in order to cause an abortion. A Bronx Criminal Lawyer said when that did not work, she gave the men $500 for the purpose of obtaining a doctor who had agreed to perform the abortion. At the time of the arrest in November, several items of the type used to induce an abortion were seized by the police and placed into evidence.

The defendants made a motion to exclude all of the evidence from any trial. The motion was made based on the fact that the wiretap had been obtained based on the perjury of one of the defendants. Because the wiretap was obtained based on illegal testimony, the wiretap is not valid. Since the wiretap is not valid, the evidence of the conversations that were made on those lines should not be allowed because they are fruit of the poisonous tree of an illegal search. Since all of the evidence of the wiretaps was illegal, then the arrests themselves were illegal and any evidence that was seized at the time of the arrests should not be allowed in a court of law.

This is an example of the Exclusionary Rule. Any evidence of a criminal offense that is obtained by illegal means is considered fruit of the poisonous tree of an illegal search and must be excluded from any court proceedings. A Manhattan Criminal Lawyer said the fact that the woman lied in the initial deposition that was the basis for the wiretap invalidated the wiretap as a whole. Since the wiretap was invalid, the subsequent extension of the wiretap must be considered invalid. That means that everything that came from that point must be excluded from trial based on the Exclusionary Rule. All of the evidence of any type of crime being committed was proceeds of the wiretap and were then made inadmissible in court. The motion to exclude all of the evidence was approved. Whether you have been charged with burglary, criminal tresspass or domestic violence, it is important that you contact legal counsel to ensure that your rights are protected.Stephen Bilkis & Associates has Queens Criminal Lawyers, with convenient offices throughout New York and Metropolitan area. Their Queens Drug Lawyers stand by their clients and investigate the circumstances of the arrests.

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