The eponymous defendant in the landmark 4th Amendment case, United States v. Jones, has entered a guilty plea, and sentenced to fifteen years in prison. He’s had a long path to this sentence:
Jones stood trial three times. His first trial ended in a mistrial in 2007. He was found guilty at the second trial and received a life sentence, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit vacated that conviction after finding the government violated his Fourth Amendment rights through the warrantless use of a Global Positioning System tracking device.
Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the D.C. Circuit’s ruling, meaning prosecutors couldn’t use the GPS data at trial. The government had used the information to link Jones to a drug house in Maryland. During the course of the investigation, the authorities never saw Jones personally handle any drugs.
Following a third trial earlier this year, in which Jones represented himself, the jury split and Huvelle declared a mistrial. The government announced shortly after that it planned to seek a fourth trial.