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News Scan

Warrant Required For Some Cell Records:  The highest court in Massachusetts has ruled that police must get a search warrant before they are allowed to obtain cellphone records to track the movements of a murder suspect.  Mark Pratt of the Associated Press reports that the Supreme Judicial Court voted 5-2 in Commonwealth v. Shabazz Augustine to deny cell tracking evidence of Augustine's whereabouts during a two-week period in 2004.  Augustine is awaiting trial for the murder of his ex-girlfriend that year.  The court held that tracking the location of cellphone calls over a two week period intruded upon his expectation of privacy. 

Untested Rape Kits a Serious Problem:  A San Francisco Chronicle article by Nancy Skinner and Nancy O'Malley focuses on the thousands of untested rape kits sitting in storage in cities across the United States.  The arrest last year of Ariel Castro for holding three young women for years as sex slaves, prompted Cleveland detectives to go through the backlog of untested rape kits in that city and find DNA evidence indicating that Castro's neighbor, Elias Acevedo, was a serial rapist who committed two murders.  The article cites several examples where clearing the backlog of untested rape kits resulted in the solving of scores of cold cases.    

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