Inmate Appeals to Highest Court

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Larry Wesley Lawrence is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that his constitutional rights were violated when it took six days for him to appear before a Mississippi judge.

The nation's high court is expected to decide in January whether to hear Lawrence's case. The Mississippi Supreme Court ruled against Lawrence in June.

Mississippi court rules require suspects to have an initial appearance before a judge within 48 hours of being arrested.

The Fourth Amendment says the government cannot conduct a search without obtaining a warrant and showing probable cause to believe the person has committed or will commit a crime.

Justice George C. Carlson, writing in the Mississippi court's decision, said while the delay in an initial hearing by a judge in Scott County violated court rules, Lawrence's rights under the Fourth Amendment were protected.

Carlson said the error was harmless and did not justify overturning Lawrence's conviction.

Lawrence was convicted of burglary of a dwelling in 1999. He was sentenced to 25 years without parole as a habitual offender.


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