Historically, police serving warrants were required to knock on a door, announce their presence, and wait for an answer. But in SWAT raids, this is often no longer the case. Police aren’t required to announce themselves if they believe the circumstances present a threat of physical violence, or if they believe evidence would be destroyed. According to a study by the American Civil Liberties Union, no-knock warrants are used in around 60 percent of drug searches.
Like Guy, Magee was initially charged with capital murder, which is punishable by death. But before Magee’s trial, a grand jury found there was not enough evidence for him to stand trial on that charge. “In essence it was a ruling in self-defense,” DeGuerin said. Guy has been through the grand jury process as well, his attorney said, but in his case, the grand jury allowed prosecutors to move ahead with capital murder charges. So while Magee awaits trial for felony possession of marijuana, Guy awaits potential execution.