Flint attorney breaks down Proposal 2 on November ballot

.(Ryan Osborne)
Published: Oct. 7, 2020 at 5:53 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) -In his more than 25 years of practicing law, criminal defense attorney Jeff Clothier has seen just about everything-- including the addition of cell phone records and computer hard drives used as evidence in a case.

“I’ve seen situations, especially recently where police have obtained information off of a cell phone that has absolutely no relation to the crime they are investigating,” said criminal defense attorney, Jeff Clothier.

Situations like that, is why Clothier said he is in favor of proposal 2-- an amendment to the Michigan Constitution that would add electronic data and electronic communications to the existing protections against unreasonable government search and seizure.

“You’re protected from the government from seizing your property. Intruding on your home and your cell phones without them having a valid reason to do so and I just think that it needs to stop somewhere and I think this is good opportunity for the state of Michigan to do that,” he said.

If passed, The Michigan Constitution would provide specific protections to electronic data and communications.

Law enforcement would be required to obtain warrants to access information stored in these formats.

“To be able to arrest that person and search their cell phone or their laptop computer of their desktop computer without a valid warrant that doesn’t necessarily have any relation what the crime itself was, I think that’s inappropriate,” Clothier said.

“The Constitution has to evolve. Just like it has in the past and it’s just a unique time that we’re in,” he said.

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