AL Supreme Court: Judge was wrong in search warrant denial - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

AL Supreme Court: Judge was wrong in search warrant denial

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BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

The Alabama Supreme Court says a Macon County Circuit Court judge was wrong in denying the State Attorney General's request for a search warrant at VictoryLand casino.

The Supreme Court issued a 46-page opinion on Friday stating that "[a] circuit judge is not free to frustrate the enforcement of the criminal law by refusing to issue warrants necessary or appropriate to its enforcement in his or her circuit."

In the ruling, the Supreme Court stated that "the circumstances presented allow for no reasonable conclusion other than that probable cause exists for the issuance of the search warrant in this case."

The court also noted that surveillance video in support of the warrant showed games that did not reasonable resemble the game of bingo.

"I have said from day one that my office would handle this matter through the courts, and today the Supreme Court has spoken. The Court explained in a detailed and thorough opinion why each of Judge Young's reasons for denying the warrant for VictoryLand was wrong as a matter of law," said Attorney General Strange in reaction to the ruling. "This decision should end the debate on whether so-called ‘electronic bingo' is illegal. It is illegal and local officials cannot create rules to make it legal. The only question now is whether the Legislature will enact tough penalties so that people will think twice before they engage in large-scale slot-machine gambling in the future."

VictoryLand was raided on February 19th. At the time, Macon County Circuit Court Judge Tom Young had been ordered to sign the search warrant after denying it a month earlier. On the signed warrant, Young wrote a note describing his apprehension with the order.

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