Supreme Court Overrules Fourth Amendment!

Comments

  • xmacroxmacro Posts: 3,402
    They didn't overrule the 4th Amendment; considering it was an 8-1 decision, with the liberal wing agreeing with the consrvative wing, I don't see much reason for alarm from anyone. Ginsburg was the only dissent.

    From the Court's opinion: http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/10pdf/09-1272.pdf

    Police officers in Lexington, Kentucky, followed a suspected drug dealerto an apartment complex. They smelled marijuana outside anapartment door, knocked loudly, and announced their presence. As soon as the officers began knocking, they heard noises coming from the apartment; the officers believed that these noises were consistent with the destruction of evidence. The officers announced their intent to enter the apartment, kicked in the door, and found respondent andothers. They saw drugs in plain view during a protective sweep of the apartment and found additional evidence during a subsequentsearch.

    The Circuit Court denied respondent’s motion to suppress the evidence, holding that exigent circumstances—the need to pre-vent destruction of evidence—justified the warrantless entry. Re-spondent entered a conditional guilty plea, reserving his right to ap-peal the suppression ruling, and the Kentucky Court of Appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court of Kentucky reversed. The court as-sumed that exigent circumstances existed, but it nonetheless invali-dated the search. The exigent circumstances rule did not apply, thecourt held, because the police should have foreseen that their conductwould prompt the occupants to attempt to destroy evidence.

    Held:

    1. The exigent circumstances rule applies when the police do not create the exigency by engaging or threatening to engage in conduct that violates the Fourth Amendment.

    . . . . . . .

    2. Assuming that an exigency existed here, there is no evidence that the officers either violated the Fourth Amendment or threatened to do so prior to the point when they entered the apartment. Pp. 16– 19.

    (a) Any question about whether an exigency existed here is better addressed by the Kentucky Supreme Court on remand. P. 17.

    (b) Assuming an exigency did exist, the officers’ conduct—banging on the door and announcing their presence—was entirely consistent with the Fourth Amendment. Respondent has pointed to no evidence supporting his argument that the officers made any sort of “demand” to enter the apartment, much less a demand that amounts to a threat to violate the Fourth Amendment. If there is contradictory evidence that has not been brought to this Court’s at-tention, the state court may elect to address that matter on remand.Finally, the record makes clear that the officers’ announcement that they were going to enter the apartment was made after the exigency arose.
    So for those who don't know, the 4th Amendment is the protection against unreasonable search/seizure - the Gov't, which includes the police, can't search you, your property or seize your stuff without a reason.

    Basically, there's always existed an "exigent circumstances" (aka - emergency situation) exception to the 4th Amendment; the police can enter your house/condo/whatever without a warrant if there's an emergency going on. Typical examples include gunshots, screams along the lines of "please don't kill me!!" or "stop hitting me, I can't take it anymore", and things like "****, it's the cops, get rid of the evidence". However, if the police created an emergency situation where none previously existed, they can't claim their actions are covered by the exception

    The USSC here said, since the emergency situation already existed, since it wasn't created by the cops, they fit under the exigent circumstances exception, and could enter the house without a warrant. The cops didn't demand to enter the apartment, and they didn't make any threats to enter without a warrant - they just knocked on the door, so they didn't create the emergency situation; the people inside the place began making noises consistent with the destruction of evidence, so they're the ones who created the emergency (imminent destruction of evidence, like flushing, burning, eating it, etc, is already recognized as an emergency situation/exigent circumstance) - so the police are covered by the exception and they're actions are upheld in court.

    In this case, all that happens is the Defendants, the guys who were peddling weed, aren't able to suppress the evidence the cops found, and it'll come in at their trial as evidence. Honestly, this is first-year law school stuff; the cops didn't act badly in any way from the evidence presented, and there's really nothing surprising here. The USSC just preserved the status quo

  • wwesternwwestern Posts: 1,397 ✭✭✭
    ROFL so what does destroying evidence sound like? The only noise I hear in this is the raping of our rights.
  • xmacroxmacro Posts: 3,402
    image
  • wwesternwwestern Posts: 1,397 ✭✭✭
    Amendment 4 - Search and Seizure. Ratified 12/15/1791. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    But it's ok because the right wing version of giant government is somewhat more appealing to me too I guess.
  • Amos_UmwhatAmos_Umwhat West TNPosts: 4,955 ✭✭✭✭✭
    how does destroying the evidence, in this particular case, constitute an "emergency"? No, just an excuse for more totalitarianism.
    WARNING:  The above post may contain thoughts or ideas known to the State of Caliphornia to cause seething rage, confusion, distemper, nausea, perspiration, sphincter release, or cranial implosion to persons who implicitly trust only one news source, or find themselves at either the left or right political extreme.  Proceed at your own risk.  

    "There is nothing so in need of reforming as someone else's bad habits."   Mark Twain
  • YankeeManYankeeMan Posts: 2,216 ✭✭✭✭
    As a criminal you can try to destroy evidence, but the police do not have to let you do it. Courts have long ruled that there are special exemptions when evidence can be destroyed, such as a "No Knock" warrant.
  • kuzi16kuzi16 Posts: 14,616 ✭✭✭✭
    if they can clearly smell people smoking weed, isnt that probable cause for a search?
    youll have to forgive my ignorance on this, im only familiar with searching a car.


    not that im defending this. i mean... if Pot was Legal then this wouldnt be an issue at all.
  • wwesternwwestern Posts: 1,397 ✭✭✭
    YankeeMan:
    As a criminal you can try to destroy evidence, but the police do not have to let you do it. Courts have long ruled that there are special exemptions when evidence can be destroyed, such as a "No Knock" warrant.

    Appearantly these guys prefer the "no warrant" warrant.
  • VulchorVulchor FloridaPosts: 4,803 ✭✭✭
    kuzi16:
    if Pot was Legal then this wouldnt be an issue at all.
    +1,000,000......and I wouldnt have to spend so much time in my shed.
  • xmacroxmacro Posts: 3,402
    Amos Umwhat:
    how does destroying the evidence, in this particular case, constitute an "emergency"? No, just an excuse for more totalitarianism.
    It's been an exigent circumstance for longer than you've been alive - this is nothing new

    wwestern:
    Amendment 4 - Search and Seizure. Ratified 12/15/1791. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    But it's ok because the right wing version of giant government is somewhat more appealing to me too I guess.
    You're forgetting the 200 years of caselaw that goes with it
  • beatnicbeatnic Posts: 4,133
    Ginsburg. Sounds like a beer.
  • wwesternwwestern Posts: 1,397 ✭✭✭
    beatnic:
    Ginsburg. Sounds like a beer.

    she looks like a bitter beer.
  • wwesternwwestern Posts: 1,397 ✭✭✭
    xmacro:
    Amos Umwhat:
    how does destroying the evidence, in this particular case, constitute an "emergency"? No, just an excuse for more totalitarianism.
    It's been an exigent circumstance for longer than you've been alive - this is nothing new

    wwestern:
    Amendment 4 - Search and Seizure. Ratified 12/15/1791. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    But it's ok because the right wing version of giant government is somewhat more appealing to me too I guess.
    You're forgetting the 200 years of caselaw that goes with it


    Yeah because all the interpratation has worked out swimmingly for individual rights.
  • Ken_LightKen_Light Posts: 3,539 ✭✭✭
    This is botched police work. This was a DEALER, not a user, meaning this bust wasn't going to vanish after the moment passed. Once they tracked the guy back they could have quietly picked up that additional evidence, obtained a warrant, and returned to pick up their suspects. And probably far more effectively than they did on the spur of the moment.

    Also, I always wondered this: since we've declared a war on drugs, does that mean the users and dealers get to shoot back? I mean, it only stand to reason...war is war.
    ^Troll: DO NOT FEED.
  • Amos_UmwhatAmos_Umwhat West TNPosts: 4,955 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Ken Light:
    This is botched police work. This was a DEALER, not a user, meaning this bust wasn't going to vanish after the moment passed. Once they tracked the guy back they could have quietly picked up that additional evidence, obtained a warrant, and returned to pick up their suspects. And probably far more effectively than they did on the spur of the moment.

    Also, I always wondered this: since we've declared a war on drugs, does that mean the users and dealers get to shoot back? I mean, it only stand to reason...war is war.
    That's how Al Capone & Co. did it, and didn't that work out so well for us all? Now, let's see, how did we stop that racket? Oh, FREEDOM!
    WARNING:  The above post may contain thoughts or ideas known to the State of Caliphornia to cause seething rage, confusion, distemper, nausea, perspiration, sphincter release, or cranial implosion to persons who implicitly trust only one news source, or find themselves at either the left or right political extreme.  Proceed at your own risk.  

    "There is nothing so in need of reforming as someone else's bad habits."   Mark Twain
  • YankeeManYankeeMan Posts: 2,216 ✭✭✭✭
    Ken Light:
    This is botched police work. This was a DEALER, not a user, meaning this bust wasn't going to vanish after the moment passed. Once they tracked the guy back they could have quietly picked up that additional evidence, obtained a warrant, and returned to pick up their suspects. And probably far more effectively than they did on the spur of the moment.

    Also, I always wondered this: since we've declared a war on drugs, does that mean the users and dealers get to shoot back? I mean, it only stand to reason...war is war.
    Druggies have been shooting back for years. That's one of the reasons we have Police Memorial Day on May 15th each year!

  • letsgowithbobletsgowithbob Posts: 677
    I am extremely happy that this decision was upheld. I am so sick of all the idiot criminals having more rights than anyone else. It's about time the courts do something to help out law enforcement. Everyone always wants them to fix everything, and blames them for everything. It's about time they get a little help.
  • wwesternwwestern Posts: 1,397 ✭✭✭
    The constitution is the set of rules the government has to follow.... when they stop following those rules is a pretty scary place to me. Funny how it's ok when the rules are trampled to go against someone/something you don't like but it's an attrocity when you feel you're rights are violated.
  • PuroFreakPuroFreak Posts: 4,132
    YankeeMan:
    Ken Light:
    This is botched police work. This was a DEALER, not a user, meaning this bust wasn't going to vanish after the moment passed. Once they tracked the guy back they could have quietly picked up that additional evidence, obtained a warrant, and returned to pick up their suspects. And probably far more effectively than they did on the spur of the moment.

    Also, I always wondered this: since we've declared a war on drugs, does that mean the users and dealers get to shoot back? I mean, it only stand to reason...war is war.
    Druggies have been shooting back for years. That's one of the reasons we have Police Memorial Day on May 15th each year!

    +1 to this Yankee!
  • MTuccelliMTuccelli Posts: 2,629 ✭✭✭
    wwestern:
    The constitution is the set of rules the government has to follow.... when they stop following those rules is a pretty scary place to me. Funny how it's ok when the rules are trampled to go against someone/something you don't like but it's an attrocity when you feel you're rights are violated.
    Exactly....what is to stop a pissed off neighbor from calling the cops reporting something suspicious and possibly illegal going on next door when nothing is going on. Is the neighbors word good enough from probable cause?
  • Amos_UmwhatAmos_Umwhat West TNPosts: 4,955 ✭✭✭✭✭
    wwestern:
    The constitution is the set of rules the government has to follow.... when they stop following those rules is a pretty scary place to me. Funny how it's ok when the rules are trampled to go against someone/something you don't like but it's an attrocity when you feel you're rights are violated.
    Exactly! What you are describing is the working definition of a hypocritical elitism that eventually undermines the freedom of everyone.
    WARNING:  The above post may contain thoughts or ideas known to the State of Caliphornia to cause seething rage, confusion, distemper, nausea, perspiration, sphincter release, or cranial implosion to persons who implicitly trust only one news source, or find themselves at either the left or right political extreme.  Proceed at your own risk.  

    "There is nothing so in need of reforming as someone else's bad habits."   Mark Twain
  • MperconteMperconte Posts: 367
    wwestern:
    Amendment 4 - Search and Seizure. Ratified 12/15/1791. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    But it's ok because the right wing version of giant government is somewhat more appealing to me too I guess.
    Here's one you'll will like: You have "NO" 4th or 6th amendment rights at a Port of Entry. This means, when you go foreign, you can be detained, searched, patted down and all but ass raped without constitutional protection; the price of going to a foreign country. No warrants required.
  • cabinetmakercabinetmaker Posts: 2,561
    Mperconte:
    wwestern:
    Amendment 4 - Search and Seizure. Ratified 12/15/1791. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    But it's ok because the right wing version of giant government is somewhat more appealing to me too I guess.
    Here's one you'll will like: You have "NO" 4th or 6th amendment rights at a Port of Entry. This means, when you go foreign, you can be detained, searched, patted down and all but ass raped without constitutional protection; the price of going to a foreign country. No warrants required.
    Do they charge extra for the ass rape?
  • wwesternwwestern Posts: 1,397 ✭✭✭
    Mperconte:
    wwestern:
    Amendment 4 - Search and Seizure. Ratified 12/15/1791. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    But it's ok because the right wing version of giant government is somewhat more appealing to me too I guess.
    Here's one you'll will like: You have "NO" 4th or 6th amendment rights at a Port of Entry. This means, when you go foreign, you can be detained, searched, patted down and all but ass raped without constitutional protection; the price of going to a foreign country. No warrants required.

    This isn't just when you travel abroad anymore lol, the right loves to take away freedom in the name of protection.
  • fla-gypsyfla-gypsy Posts: 3,024 ✭✭
    wwestern:
    Mperconte:
    wwestern:
    Amendment 4 - Search and Seizure. Ratified 12/15/1791. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    But it's ok because the right wing version of giant government is somewhat more appealing to me too I guess.
    Here's one you'll will like: You have "NO" 4th or 6th amendment rights at a Port of Entry. This means, when you go foreign, you can be detained, searched, patted down and all but ass raped without constitutional protection; the price of going to a foreign country. No warrants required.

    This isn't just when you travel abroad anymore lol, the right loves to take away freedom in the name of protection.
    Looks like the "left wing" of the court was all for it to this time. How is this a "right" issue. Only the beer lady dissented!
  • wwesternwwestern Posts: 1,397 ✭✭✭
    Generally speaking the right takes away your freedom for security, the left takes it for social justice and what ever other crap they come up with.

    I'm just a fan of the constitution and what it was meant to do that's all.
  • Amos_UmwhatAmos_Umwhat West TNPosts: 4,955 ✭✭✭✭✭
    fla-gypsy:
    wwestern:
    Mperconte:
    wwestern:
    Amendment 4 - Search and Seizure. Ratified 12/15/1791. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    But it's ok because the right wing version of giant government is somewhat more appealing to me too I guess.
    Here's one you'll will like: You have "NO" 4th or 6th amendment rights at a Port of Entry. This means, when you go foreign, you can be detained, searched, patted down and all but ass raped without constitutional protection; the price of going to a foreign country. No warrants required.

    This isn't just when you travel abroad anymore lol, the right loves to take away freedom in the name of protection.
    Looks like the "left wing" of the court was all for it to this time. How is this a "right" issue. Only the beer lady dissented!
    One hand washes the other, and, in our current political system, BOTH grab for power. Right and Left both want it, and are willing to work together to take it away from us. The Right, the Left, the Rich, all wish to harness the power and wealth of the people. The only ones that are for US, are US, and if we don't put a stop to it, the American dream of freedom and equality for all will never be realized, and we've been so close, so often.

    Also, I'd guess that Wwestern, leaning right himself, is probably as disappointed as I am that the so-called "originalists" didn't stick with the Original meaning of the fourth amendment. Liars and Hypocrites!
    WARNING:  The above post may contain thoughts or ideas known to the State of Caliphornia to cause seething rage, confusion, distemper, nausea, perspiration, sphincter release, or cranial implosion to persons who implicitly trust only one news source, or find themselves at either the left or right political extreme.  Proceed at your own risk.  

    "There is nothing so in need of reforming as someone else's bad habits."   Mark Twain
  • wwesternwwestern Posts: 1,397 ✭✭✭
    At this point one of the only people in politics who isn't a disappointment to me is Ron Paul but there's no chance anyone will give him a second look cause he's the radical one preaching self reliance. America.... home of the enslaved.
  • VulchorVulchor FloridaPosts: 4,803 ✭✭✭
    This "liberal" here voted for Ron Paul in the primary 4 years ago thank you very much.
  • Amos_UmwhatAmos_Umwhat West TNPosts: 4,955 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Vulchor:
    This "liberal" here voted for Ron Paul in the primary 4 years ago thank you very much.
    Same here. My dream ticket would be Ron Paul and Gary Johnson (former Gov of NM). I wonder what Gary's doing now? At any rate, this would guarantee my vote for the Republicans. I don't even care who's in which spot.
    WARNING:  The above post may contain thoughts or ideas known to the State of Caliphornia to cause seething rage, confusion, distemper, nausea, perspiration, sphincter release, or cranial implosion to persons who implicitly trust only one news source, or find themselves at either the left or right political extreme.  Proceed at your own risk.  

    "There is nothing so in need of reforming as someone else's bad habits."   Mark Twain
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