PA: Because CA police agreed to question a potential suspect in a PA murder, they didn’t become “agents” of PA

A murder occurred in Pennsylvania in 2002. A person with knowledge of the murder had moved to San Bernardino, California. Pennsylvania authorities called California and emailed reports on the murder. The California authorities undertook to interrogate defendant, which she agreed to, over a couple of days both at the police station and at her home. Under basic agency principles, the California police were not “agents” of the Pennsylvania State Police. “In addition and as discussed below, unlike in Dembo, here, the Pennsylvania State Police did not direct the mechanics of the California officers’ interviews.” Commonwealth v. Britton, 2020 Pa. LEXIS 2202 (Apr. 22, 2020).

Florida is a two-party consent state for recordings of conversations. When the recording happened at McGill Air Force Base, it was a federal enclave and the statute did not apply. Moreover, this is a case in federal court, and state law doesn’t control admissibility of evidence there. United States v. Boling, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 69941 (M.D. Fla. Apr. 2, 2020), adopted, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 69245 (M.D. Fla. Apr. 21, 2020).

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