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      05-16-2011, 09:16 PM   #1
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Final blow to 4th Amendment? - Supreme Court gives police a new entryway into homes

The Supreme Court, in an 8-1 decision in a Kentucky case, says police officers who loudly knock on a door in search of illegal drugs and then hear sounds suggesting evidence is being destroyed may break down the door and enter without a search warrant.

In a lone dissent, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said she feared the ruling in a Kentucky case will give police an easy way to ignore the 4th Amendment. "Police officers may not knock, listen and then break the door down," she said, without violating the 4th Amendment.

http://www.latimes.com/news/sc-dc-05...,6820148.story
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      05-16-2011, 11:35 PM   #2
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The Supreme Court, in an 8-1 decision in a Kentucky case, says police officers who loudly knock on a door in search of illegal drugs and then hear sounds suggesting evidence is being destroyed may break down the door and enter without a search warrant.

In a lone dissent, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said she feared the ruling in a Kentucky case will give police an easy way to ignore the 4th Amendment. "Police officers may not knock, listen and then break the door down," she said, without violating the 4th Amendment.

http://www.latimes.com/news/sc-dc-05...,6820148.story
You can't be serious! Ruth Bader Ginzburg - the only one left standing for the 4th Amendment? How can this be possible? Perhaps I underestimated her. And overestimated at least four other justices determination to stand for the Bill of Rights.

We are increasingly in danger of losing what is left of the Constitution. When it is gone, circumvented by Congress, stepped on by the President, and finally overruled by the Supreme Court, there is little hope remaining.

As described, the police pursued a suspect into an apartment complex. The police lost sight of the suspect and smelling marijuana in a apartment, knocked loudly on the door (and I guess identifying themselves as the police). Then in hearing the toilet flush, they broke down the door. Their suspect was not there, but the found some marijuana and cocaine. The SCOTUS then determined that the cops were justified in breaking and entering, and that the marijuana smoking resident was guilty.

Did I get that right?

Was there a time when what was to be seized had to be written in the warrant and that other things would be illegally obtained evidence? I am not a legal scholar, but didn't it used to be something like that? And now they don't need a warrant and such evidence is asmissable in court. This is crazy.

What is next?
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      05-17-2011, 09:10 PM   #3
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Well, looks like no chance of them reversing the Indiana ruling now.
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      05-17-2011, 09:27 PM   #4
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smh
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      05-17-2011, 09:50 PM   #5
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smh
I had to look up what smh meant. Text messaging speak isn't in my vocabulary yet.

BTW: Are you really a "registered sex offender" like your user title states? Just curious.
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      05-17-2011, 09:54 PM   #6
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I had to look up what smh meant. Text messaging speak isn't in my vocabulary yet.

BTW: Are you really a "registered sex offender" like your user title states? Just curious.
LOL no... not yet

But yeah I was "smh"ing at the ruling. I'm usually never bothered by privacy related controversy ("So what? I've got nothing to hide..." line of thinking to blame for that) but this one irked me.
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      05-18-2011, 01:45 PM   #7
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Cops can already break in if they have reason to believe someone is in danger. I think that's acceptable. This is over the line though. All cops need to do to break into anywhere is claim they heard a toilet. Even seeing smoke come from a chimney would be sufficient. That's a pretty low standard there, and would be impossible to fight.
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      05-18-2011, 03:32 PM   #8
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Cops can already break in if they have reason to believe someone is in danger. I think that's acceptable. This is over the line though. All cops need to do to break into anywhere is claim they heard a toilet. Even seeing smoke come from a chimney would be sufficient. That's a pretty low standard there, and would be impossible to fight.
Here is a link to the warrant exceptions...this new ruling (although i confess to not reading the decision) is very troublesome as it further waters down what the warrant requirements are meant to protect: the sanctity of your person or place from search and seizure without having the reason/evidence reviewed by non-police:

http://nationalparalegal.edu/conLawC...WarrantReq.asp

introducing a vague standard such as belief that evidence is being destroyed based on noises is a terrible blow
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      05-18-2011, 06:02 PM   #9
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Can you imagine sitting on your toilet burning a nag-champa to cover the odor, and hear a loud knock on the door... "Open up, it's the police!" You yell, "Just a minute!" One last butt wipe, jump up from the seat and pull up your pants. Hit the flusher and the cops knock down your door!

They smelled nag-champa, commonly used to cover the smell of smoking marijuana. No dope, just your doorway is left unsecure. And it's at your expense to get it fixed, all because you burn insense and take a shit.

But they are likely to do this to you only if they already wanted to harrass you. Maybe. Or they were looking for somebody somewhere, and smelled your incense.
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      05-18-2011, 06:23 PM   #10
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Here is a link to the warrant exceptions...this new ruling (although i confess to not reading the decision) is very troublesome as it further waters down what the warrant requirements are meant to protect: the sanctity of your person or place from search and seizure without having the reason/evidence reviewed by non-police:

http://nationalparalegal.edu/conLawC...WarrantReq.asp

introducing a vague standard such as belief that evidence is being destroyed based on noises is a terrible blow
That's an interesting summary at the link. It looks like 6 Emergencies/Hot Pursuit is the closest match to this thing. Yet if I understood the case that the court ruled on, the cops didn't know where the suspect went, other than in the apartment building. They picked on one apartment that smelled like marijuana, with no reason to believe that is where the suspect would be. Is that what it was?
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      05-18-2011, 09:06 PM   #11
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That's an interesting summary at the link. It looks like 6 Emergencies/Hot Pursuit is the closest match to this thing. Yet if I understood the case that the court ruled on, the cops didn't know where the suspect went, other than in the apartment building. They picked on one apartment that smelled like marijuana, with no reason to believe that is where the suspect would be. Is that what it was?
Yeah, they went in wrong apt. because they followed the reefer clouds like cheech and chong instead of the suspect.

A pretty cool blog by law professors.

Kentucky v. King and Police-Created Exigent Circumstances
http://volokh.com/2011/05/16/kentuck...circumstances/
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      05-18-2011, 11:40 PM   #12
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Yeah, they went in wrong apt. because they followed the reefer clouds like cheech and chong instead of the suspect.

A pretty cool blog by law professors.

Kentucky v. King and Police-Created Exigent Circumstances
http://volokh.com/2011/05/16/kentuck...circumstances/
Aha! So this is how Alito justified it: When the police banged on the door as loudly as they could, they yelled, "police, police, police" without saying "we're going go break the door down". Then the occupant flushed the toilet, and the police then had a new situation where they could say they had reason to believe the occupant was destroying evidence. So they were justified in breaking down the door.

What a convoluted reasoning that you can pursue a suspect person, then get distracted by unrelated smoke, you can sound like you are breaking down the door, announcing that it's the police, then hear a toilet flush, giving the cue to bust down the door.

It seems like once they got into the apartment, the suspect they were pursuing was gone, so with nothing better to do, they automatically went into their harassment mode to take it out on some poor sot that happened to be nearby. That may be an exaggeration, or oversimplification, but not too far off.

It's like if you can't win a fight with your girlfriend, you kick the dog, and find a way to justify it in your mind that kicking the dog was perfectly acceptable.
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      05-18-2011, 11:46 PM   #13
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Aha! So this is how Alito justified it: When the police banged on the door as loudly as they could, they yelled, "police, police, police" without saying "we're going go break the door down". Then the occupant flushed the toilet, and the police then had a new situation where they could say they had reason to believe the occupant was destroying evidence. So they were justified in breaking down the door.

What a convoluted reasoning that you can pursue a suspect person, then get distracted by unrelated smoke, you can sound like you are breaking down the door, announcing that it's the police, then hear a toilet flush, giving the cue to bust down the door.

It seems like once they got into the apartment, the suspect they were pursuing was gone, so with nothing better to do, they automatically went into their harassment mode to take it out on some poor sot that happened to be nearby. That may be an exaggeration, or oversimplification, but not too far off.

It's like if you can't win a fight with your girlfriend, you kick the dog, and find a way to justify it in your mind that kicking the dog was perfectly acceptable.

What about scalia going on about who does not answer their door when someone knocks?
Plenty of people don't and I bet they are not flushing drugs either if they don't answer.

JUSTICE SCALIA: Why -- why not? I mean
people -- you know, when there's a knock on -- on the door, is the normal human reaction to walk into the other room and shut the door?
MS. O'CONNELL: A person doesn't have to answer the door. A person might come to the door; they might also ignore whoever is at the door. Both of those options are fine.
JUSTICE SCALIA: Is that a common
experience, that you knock on a door and all you hear is somebody walking out of the room and shutting a door?
MS. O'CONNELL: I mean, I -- I guess that a person is entitled to do that.
JUSTICE SCALIA: I don't recall it ever happening to me, but maybe -- maybe I'm a likable fellow and people open the door.
MS. O'CONNELL: I mean, I -- I guess that a person is entitled to do that.
JUSTICE SCALIA: I don't recall it ever happening to me, but maybe -- maybe I'm a likable fellow and people open the door.
(Laughter.)
MS. O'CONNELL: I mean, I think that that -* that's certainly a lawful option that somebody has when the police officers knock at their door. And, certainly, in this case -*
JUSTICE SCALIA: They could say "Go away." They could do a lot of stuff. But walk in the other room and shut the door?
MS. O'CONNELL: That's -*
JUSTICE SCALIA: Strange.

http://www.supremecourt.gov/oral_arg...ts/09-1272.pdf

SC also ruled DUI checkpoints are constitutional and stopped the florida recount in election.
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      05-19-2011, 11:38 AM   #14
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Scalia...ugh
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      05-19-2011, 01:12 PM   #15
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Scalia- are you retarded? Just because something isn't what you consider usual doesn't mean it should be illegal. Not doing what Justic Scalia would do is not grounds to bust the damn door down and enter without a warrant!
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      05-19-2011, 01:18 PM   #16
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This isn't Scalia's first transgression mind you
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      05-19-2011, 05:12 PM   #17
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The current Supreme Court under Roberts and Scalia has applied one single legal principle to all cases: Always rule on the side of Law Enforcement and Corporations.
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      05-19-2011, 06:49 PM   #18
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He rips them a new one in this piece about the bush vs gore ruling.

None Dare Call It Treason
Vincent Bugliosi

http://www.thenation.com/article/non...all-it-treason
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      05-19-2011, 06:52 PM   #19
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"No-Knock Warrants" are a great way to get cops shot by good people too.

Once in awhile they get the address wrong. What would you do if a bunch of guys bust in the door in the middle of the night?

It doesn't help that they're yelling "Police! Policia! Police!". Guess what I'd yell if I was trying to invade a home??


This is BS.
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      05-19-2011, 07:19 PM   #20
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Often the courts seem to be used as a vehicle to redefine what is clearly written in the Constition, to make it into a slightly different meaning. After a time, they build on that to make it slightly more different than the original meaning. Then they build on that ruling to justify further deviation. Then what was once a right of the people has been made into a right of the government, right down to the breaking down a door because they hear a toilet flush.

Soon, I will have to give up. If I lived in the Soviet Union during the cold war, I would have meekly avoided confrontation. Maybe I will soon be getting to that point here.
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      05-19-2011, 08:16 PM   #21
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"No-Knock Warrants" are a great way to get cops shot by good people too.

Once in awhile they get the address wrong. What would you do if a bunch of guys bust in the door in the middle of the night?

It doesn't help that they're yelling "Police! Policia! Police!". Guess what I'd yell if I was trying to invade a home??


This is BS.
There is also a knock and talk I found out.

Knock and Talk
Discusses the latest techniques in the use of a narcotics interview to gain consensual search, make plain-view seizures, and develop probable cause for search warrants.

In the early evening of May 18, 2000, a small group of University of Central Florida freshmen were hanging out in their apartment in the massive Knight's Crossing complex, enjoying a basketball game over Bud Lites and puffs on a marijuana pipe. Since the four roommates often had friends over, nobody thought much about a knock on the door. When Jason (who asked that his full name not be used) answered the door, he found a nondescript, older man asking for a roommate named Michael (name also withheld on request). When Jason turned around to call for his roommate, the man walked in the door, followed by three other people.
All four of the uninvited guests were members of the Orange County Sheriff's Narcotics Unit.

http://www2.orlandoweekly.com/news/story.asp?id=2940
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      05-19-2011, 08:46 PM   #22
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are you kidding me ^
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