A Project of the University of Michigan Law School and the MDefenders Program

Marijuana Smell Alone Should Not Justify A Search

Based on six years of data of police stops in Philadelphia based on the smell of marijuana, this brief overviews how its use as a justification for a search has vastly increased the number of searches conducted, but less than 20% of the searches relying on the presence of marijuana actually discovered contraband. The brief […]

Affidavit of Expert in Facial Recognition Technology

This document was filed in support of a motion to compel discovery of the underlying source code, parameters, error rates, input data, results, reports, analyst, and confidence scores of the Facial Recognition program used in a criminal case. The expert explains the steps involved in a facial recognition search and areas where subjective human decisions […]

Amicus Brief – Court should consider race in a “reasonable person” analysis

Incorporating statistical evidence of racial disparities in police stops and police violence, this brief argues that “what constitutes “suspicious” or “abnormal” behavior for Fourth Amendment purposes must take into account the realities of racism and police violence experienced by communities of color” and that any totality of the circumstances analysis must consider “the fraught, frightening, […]