Dr. Christopher Totten and MSCJ student Ms. Katrina Lyerly publish Article in Criminal Law Bulletin
KENNESAW, Ga. (Feb 25, 2021) — Dr. Christopher Totten, Professor of Criminal Justice (Law) and Director, MSCJ program and current MSCJ student Ms. Katrina Lyerly recently co-authored a publication in the Criminal Law Bulletin ("CLB"). The Article, entitled “Reforming Missouri v. McNeely: Arguing for the Elimination of State-Based Emergency Factors as Grounds for Finding Exigency in support of Fourth Amendment Warrantless Blood Draws of DUI Arrestees," appears in Volume 56 (Nov.- Dec.), Issue 6 of the CLB. The citation is: Totten, C.D. & Lyerly, K. (2020). Reforming Missouri v. McNeely: Arguing for the Elimination of State-Based Emergency Factors as Grounds for Finding Exigency in support of Fourth Amendment Warrantless Blood Draws of DUI Arrestees. Criminal Law Bulletin, 56, 1136-1199. The CLB, published by Thomson Reuters, has recently ranked in approximately the top 30% of law journals in the United States in the field of criminal law. The journal currently has an article acceptance rate of approximately 15%. The Article consists of a detailed content analysis of state court interpretive case law for Missouri v. McNeely, a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision on police blood draws of DUI arrestees. Ms. Lyerly worked on the research for the Article as Dr. Totten’s GRA in Spring 2020 semester.
The article abstract is as follows:
In Missouri v. McNeely, the U.S. Supreme Court held that for police to conduct a non-consensual, warrantless blood draw of a drunk-driving arrestee, an emergency must exist under the totality of the circumstances. This content analysis study revealed that the state court interpretive case law for McNeely consisted of two discernible categories regarding the types of emergency circumstances supporting a warrantless blood draw. The Article argues that for reasons related to promoting basic fairness as well as Fourth Amendment doctrinal consistency and privacy; avoiding associated “slippery slope” concerns; and incentivizing governmental efficiencies and responsiveness, the United States Supreme Court should revisit its decision in McNeely. Specifically, the Court should bar lower courts from relying on emergency factors linked to state decisions concerning resources, to support a finding that an exigency exists under the totality of the circumstances to justify a warrantless blood draw of a DUI arrestee. Instead, in determining whether such an exigency exists, these courts should rely upon emergency factors directly related to the conduct or behavior of the drunk-driving suspect/ arrestee.