IN: Carpenter applies to a week of CSLI, but GFE and harmless error applies

In a case GVRd after Carpenter, Indiana finds Carpenter would be followed, but the good faith exception applied. Moreover, it was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt. Zanders v. State, 2019 Ind. LEXIS 46 (Mar. 8, 2019):

As technology advances, what was once the stuff of science fiction may enter the canon of constitutional law. Illustrating this in Carpenter v. United States, 585 U.S. ___, 138 S. Ct. 2206, 201 L. Ed. 2d 507 (2018), the Supreme Court of the United States addressed a question concerning cell phone location information: When the State accesses a person’s historical cell-site location information (CSLI), has the State conducted a search under the Fourth Amendment?

The Court’s answer: generally, yes. Carpenter made clear that seven days’ or more worth of CSLI accessed constitutes a search—and also left open the possibility that accessing even fewer days of CSLI could constitute a search. This means that the State generally must obtain a warrant before procuring a person’s CSLI.

When it decided Carpenter, the Court also granted certiorari in the case before us, vacated our prior decision, and remanded the case to us for reconsideration in light of Carpenter. We ordered supplemental briefing and oral argument.

We now hold that accessing Marcus Zanders’s CSLI was a Fourth Amendment search under Carpenter, but even if the CSLI evidence should have been excluded, the error was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt. We thus affirm Zanders’s convictions.

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