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Criminal Procedure Competition To Focus on Reasonable Search and Seizure

Oct. 27, 2010

by Brittany Hardy

Baylor Law students Claudia Hernandez, Adrienne Morris, Rafael Rodriquez and Mark Walraven will travel to the University of San Diego School of Law on Oct. 27 to compete in the National Criminal Procedure competition. This is a national tournament in which about 50 teams will compete.

The problem deals with reasonable searches and seizures in a murder case.

The team has learned a lot from their Coach Greg White, a Waco lawyer who commonly works with the Baylor Law School.

"He's a really good coach. He's very attentive and helpful. He has motivated us a lot and gets us excited about the problem. And I think we're better for it," Hernandez said, "He's taken the time to even make us dinner and keep us focused."

The problem at this competition involves a man who was suspected of killing an FBI agent. One night, another FBI agent was following the suspect and watches him pick up a prostitute and cross the state line, which is a felony. The FBI agent arrests him for that felony, but searches his car in hopes of finding evidence of the murder. He finds it.

Now, the question is whether it government agents have the right to search private property, especially in the case of being arrested for something unrelated to the vehicle.

"We got our problem back at the end of August. We had a month to research and write our brief. We turned it on Sept. 15. We've practiced just about everyday since then in preparation for the oral arguments," Walraven said.

The first two days of competition are preliminary rounds with the final on Saturday. Oct. 30.

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