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Court to rule on reliability of drug-sniffing dogs

March 26, 2012
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WASHINGTON—The Supreme Court will decide whether detailed documentation is necessary in court to prove that drug-sniffing dogs are effective at finding contraband and drugs.

The high court decided Monday to hear an appeal by Florida officials of the work done by Aldo, a drug-sniffing dog used by the Liberty County sheriff.

The Florida Supreme Court threw out drug evidence obtained against Clayton Harris during a 2006 traffic stop. Aldo alerted his officer to drugs used to make methamphetamine inside the truck. But two months later, Harris was stopped again, Aldo again alerted his officer to the presence of drugs but none were found.

The state court ruled that saying a drug dog has been trained and certified to detect narcotics is not enough to establish the dog's reliability in court.

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