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SCOTUS Decides Kentucky vs. King
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SCOTUS Decides Kentucky vs. King:

 51 Karkadinn, Thu, 19th May '11 6:05:39 PM from New Orleans, Louisiana
Karkadinn
Because if there's one thing stoners are known for, it's keeping a cool head in times of crisis.
Furthermore, I think Guantanamo must be destroyed.
 52 Hungry Joe, Thu, 19th May '11 6:07:15 PM from Under the Tree
Gristknife
I don't see why the law needs to hold the hand of people breaking it.
Charlie Tunoku is a lover and a fighter.
 53 Deboss, Thu, 19th May '11 6:16:40 PM from Awesomeville Texas
I see the Awesomeness.
entered an apartment building in pursuit of a suspect who sold crack cocaine to an undercover informant. The officers lost sight of the suspect and mistakenly assumed he entered an apartment from which they could detect the odor of marijuana

So the order of events is:

1)dealer sold informant cocaine

2)police pursue into building

3)police lose sight of suspect

4)police use basic logic "we're looking for a drug dealer, that room smells like drugs" to knock on a door (the wrong one, but whatever)

5)police hear sounds that sound like something being destroyed (or somebody climbing out of a window, I dunno what their thought processes were)

6)police find drug paraphernalia.

Right?
 54 Hungry Joe, Thu, 19th May '11 6:36:13 PM from Under the Tree
Gristknife
From what I gather, yes.
Charlie Tunoku is a lover and a fighter.
 55 darksidevoid, Thu, 19th May '11 6:49:24 PM from New NERV Party Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
Putting Reforms Into Action!
[up][up]All but #5 are correct. They heard "shuffling" that they interpreted as someone destroying drugs. I haven't found any description of what the shuffling actually was or specifically sounded like, only the way in which it was perceived, so it's difficult to say how valid their interpretation was.

[up][up][up]The 4th Amendment exists for the protection of everyone, a category which sometimes contains criminals.

edited 19th May '11 6:50:12 PM by darksidevoid

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 56 Hungry Joe, Thu, 19th May '11 6:54:17 PM from Under the Tree
Gristknife
I know that, but that doesn't mean that the cops need to explain the entire legal situation unless they're making an arrest. Miranda Rights are a must, telling folks that they're not required to open the door when the cops come knocking, not so much.
Charlie Tunoku is a lover and a fighter.
 57 darksidevoid, Thu, 19th May '11 7:11:54 PM from New NERV Party Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
Putting Reforms Into Action!
There wouldn't have been any "explaining the entire legal situation". All they needed was a warrant. They could have easily gotten one easily, but they chose not to. Then, warrant in hand, they could have knocked on the door, entered, and seized things all without the individual's consent.

The point of the 4th Amendment's clause about warrants is that it leaves the decision of whether or not a person may have his property searched or property seized up to a neutral magistrate, not the police. This decision by the Court shifts things in the opposite direction, which is concerning to me because it makes the exigent circumstance exception ripe for abuse.

edited 19th May '11 7:13:29 PM by darksidevoid

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 58 Hungry Joe, Thu, 19th May '11 7:13:29 PM from Under the Tree
Gristknife
They were pursuing a suspect!
Charlie Tunoku is a lover and a fighter.
 59 darksidevoid, Thu, 19th May '11 7:38:14 PM from New NERV Party Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
Putting Reforms Into Action!
Regardless, the suspect they were pursuing wasn't even in that apartment room. So, the evidence was impermissible in the trial of the people they did find there, even if their entering the room was not. They should have obtained a warrant before seizing the evidence if they wanted to make use of it in prosecuting King, but they didn't do so.
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 60 storyyeller, Thu, 19th May '11 7:41:05 PM from Appleloosa Relationship Status: RelationshipOutOfBoundsException: 1
More like giant cherries
But they made a good faith effort to pursue the suspect legitimately, and just happened to discover the other evidence.

To get it thrown out, you need to prove that the police used the suspect excuse deliberately in order to perform illegal searches of unrelated people.
Life is simple: it has no nontrivial normal subgroups.
This particular case doesn't shift the balance of anything. Destruction of evidence was already considered an exigent circumstance and thus an exception to the requirement of a warrant. What this case did clarify was an exception to that exception, namely the idea that if the exigent circumstances were caused by the police, then it shouldn't count. The court's point was that, since destruction of evidence is often done to avoid getting caught by the police, police inevitably cause that exigent circumstance. Thus, the test should be whether the police's actions were lawful in creating the exigent circumstances.
Belief or disbelief rests with you.
 62 Madrugada, Thu, 19th May '11 7:56:13 PM Relationship Status: In season
Zzzzzzzzzz
Darksidevoid, am I correctly understanding what you seem to be saying here:
Regardless, the suspect they were pursuing wasn't even in that apartment room. So, the evidence was impermissible in the trial of the people they did find there, even if their entering the room was not.
?

What it sounds like you're saying is that because they were in pursuit of one suspect in one crime, and the evidence they found has nothing to do with that crime or that suspect, they aren't allowed to use evidence of another crime that they find against the people accused of that second crime. That can't be what you mean, can it? Because that's not how it works.

edited 19th May '11 7:56:29 PM by Madrugada

'He strutted across the bedroom, his hard manhood pointing the way' sounds like he owns a badly named seeing-eye dog. 'Sit, Hard Manhood!
I think what he's saying is that since the police presumably broke into the apartment because they thought their suspect was inside, the fact that he wasn't inside invalidates their "exigent circumstance" and thus renders the evidence impermissable in court.

I don't really agree with him because I think it would've been allowed even if this whole thing had nothing to do with some other suspect.
I'm convinced that our modern day analogues to ancient scholars are comedians. -0dd1
 64 darksidevoid, Thu, 19th May '11 9:09:32 PM from New NERV Party Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
Putting Reforms Into Action!
...Crap, you're all right.

Well, I guess my points have somehow managed to collapse in on themselves, but I still feel this decision allows the burden of establishing exigent circumstances to be unreasonably low. Shame that wasn't actually the argument King's lawyers made. >_>
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 65 Hungry Joe, Thu, 19th May '11 9:23:56 PM from Under the Tree
Gristknife
That's not a shame, since it didn't work too well.
Charlie Tunoku is a lover and a fighter.
Pro-Freedom Fanatic
What's to stop cops from just claiming they thought the suspects were destroying evidence to sidestep the warrant requirement completely from then on?

This is a massive shift in power towards the police. It's downright horrible!

edited 20th May '11 1:18:06 AM by SavageHeathen

You exist because we allow it and you will end because we demand it.
 67 Some Sort Of Troper, Fri, 20th May '11 1:45:56 AM Relationship Status: Complex: I'm real, she is imaginary
How is it a shift? The ruling wasn't on whether the cops had established exigent circumstances. These were, in the lower court, taken for granted to be done correctly, since they were right (and if they had not been that would have been enough to get it thrown out) and it was not the basis for the plantiff's case.
Don't just tell us the facts; tell us the memes, tell us the archetypes, tell us the catchy ideas and symbolic roles that get planted in pe
What's to stop cops from just claiming they thought the suspects were destroying evidence to sidestep the warrant requirement completely from then on?

They would still have to show that it was reasonable to believe that the suspects were destroying evidence. The same applies to any other exigent circumstance. For example

What's to stop cops from just claiming they thought the suspects were murdering someone to sidestep the warrant requirement completely from then on?
Belief or disbelief rests with you.
 69 Barkey, Fri, 20th May '11 1:58:50 AM from Bunker 051
War Profiteer
They chased the drug dealer, turned around a corner and did not see him. They started looking for clues as to what apartment he ran into, and smelled weed coming from an apartment. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that 2+2 = 4, and that a drug dealer ducking into an apartment full of stoners isn't a stretch. They announced themselves, heard the shuffling, and busted in.

The Police had very probable cause to believe that under the circumstances they were in, the suspect they had been pursuing in relation to a crime that had been witnessed by an undercover cop was inside the apartment building, and that it was him and his associates inside destroying any further evidence that could be held against him.(You'll be surprised at the knowledge of the law that criminals have, they know that having multiple charges dropped on them = bad.)

They busted down the door and were in fact, mistaken. This was not the apartment they were looking for, regardless of the fact that an unrelated crime(probably a misdemeanor) was taking place inside.

Now what I feel would be fair would be to dismiss all charges to the stoners whos apartment was broken into, but on the same note the cops didn't do anything wrong with respect to the law. If you ask me, no harm-no foul for both parties is the properly fair solution. Besides which, you aren't obligated to press charges for a misdemeanor as a police officer in most states(Not sure about KY) anyway, so that is a feasible solution, or would have been, depending on how far things go. However, if the drugs in the apartment were enough in quantity to where it is apparent that there was an intent to distribute/sell, this case could be much different. Personally, I believe in busting dealers, not recreational users. Throwing the symptom in jail doesn't have any positive effect on the disease.

What's to stop cops from just claiming they thought the suspects were murdering someone to sidestep the warrant requirement completely from then on?

The fact that they have to justify what factors led to making the decision that the evidence was being destroyed as pertains to Objective Reasonableness. If the cops have a really bogus excuse, it isn't going to fly and the charges will be dropped. If the whole thing is severely mishandled in the field, then in the court room the suspects in the house that gets searched might be able to bring forth a civil suit against the city, which really pisses off city officials because those are expensive, and would get the officer into some serious hot water if the circumstances aren't reasonable.

edited 20th May '11 2:04:20 AM by Barkey

The AR-15 is responsible for 95% of all deaths each year. The rest of the deaths are from obesity and drone strikes.
Pro-Freedom Fanatic
[up][up] On your counter-example, if the jack-booted thugs find no murder victim, actual or attempted, the search would, ex post facto, have been unreasonable.

In this case, if they didn't catch those guys red-handed destroying evidence, the search should have been considered unreasonable ex post facto. Not to mention that police-created exigent circumstances are always fishy, and it's better to err on the side of inadmissible.

[up]At any rate, this ruling makes it easier to effectively enforce drug prohibition. It's a horrible ruling.

edited 20th May '11 2:30:41 AM by SavageHeathen

You exist because we allow it and you will end because we demand it.
Ah, of course. "This is the worst kind of ruling: the kind that's against me."

^^Er, are you arguing against me there? Because that was the point I was trying to make. Perhaps I could have been more clear.
Belief or disbelief rests with you.
 72 Lawyerdude, Fri, 20th May '11 9:10:14 AM from my secret moon base
Citizen
Some people don't understand what the Fourth Amendment actually says. It prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures, and it requires that any warrants only be issued upon probable cause, supported by oath, and describing with particularity the place to be searched and the things to be seized.

It does not, nor has it ever, required that warrants be issued in all cases of search or seizure. The Fourth Amendment plainly allows reasonable searches and seizures without a warrant. The warrant requirement is to prevent the government from issuing "general warrants", also called "writs of assistance", which essentially allowed the authorities to search anybody, anywhere, at any time, and for any reason.

The vast majority of Fourth Amendment cases deal with whether a warrantless search was "reasonable" under the circumstances.
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