Publication Date


Document Type

Survey Article


The field known as "constitutional criminal procedure" is one of the most dynamic branches of constitutional interpretation. Because most of the guarantees of the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments have been incorporated into the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, the decisions of the United States Supreme Court interpreting the Bill of Rights have the effect of creating national minimum standards for both the federal and state criminal justice systems. Because every year there are many significant decisions in the field of constitutional criminal procedure, practitioners need to keep abreast of breaking developments. Of course, the Supreme Court decides only a handful of cases in the field each term. In the federalized world of constitutional criminal procedure, the United States Courts of Appeals are critically important interpreters of the key constitutional provisions. This Article surveys significant constitutional criminal procedure decisions of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit handed down during 1999. In selecting "significant" decisions, we emphasize questions of first impression and other cases likely to be of interest to criminal practitioners. In keeping with the traditional format of this Article, we summarize the selected decisions and offer commentary that we hope will provide context and highlight the important aspects of the cases.