SCOTUS: Police don't have to knock, justices say


PDA






Chipperman
June 15, 2006, 12:28 PM
http://www.cnn.com/2006/LAW/06/15/scotus.search.ap/index.html

Police don't have to knock, justices say
Alito's vote breaks 4-4 tie in police search case

Thursday, June 15, 2006; Posted: 11:15 a.m. EDT (15:15 GMT)

Writing for the majority, Justice Antonin Scalie called the failure to knock a "preliminary misstep."

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that police armed with a warrant can barge into homes and seize evidence even if they don't knock, a huge government victory that was decided by President Bush's new justices.

The 5-4 ruling clearly signals the court's conservative shift following the departure of moderate Sandra Day O'Connor.

The case tested previous court rulings that police armed with warrants generally must knock and announce themselves or they run afoul of the Constitution's Fourth Amendment ban on unreasonable searches.

Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for the majority, said Detroit police acknowledge violating that rule when they called out their presence at a man's door then went inside three seconds to five seconds later.

"Whether that preliminary misstep had occurred or not, the police would have executed the warrant they had obtained, and would have discovered the gun and drugs inside the house," Scalia wrote.

But suppressing evidence is too high of a penalty, Scalia said, for errors by police in failing to properly announce themselves.

The outcome might have been different if O'Connor were still on the bench. She seemed ready, when the case was first argued in January, to rule in favor of Booker Hudson, whose house was searched in 1998.

O'Connor had worried aloud that officers around the country might start bursting into homes to execute search warrants. She asked: "Is there no policy of protecting the home owner a little bit and the sanctity of the home from this immediate entry?"

She retired before the case was decided, and a new argument was held so that Justice Samuel Alito could participate in deliberations. Alito and Bush's other Supreme Court pick, Chief Justice John Roberts, both supported Scalia's opinion.

Hudson's lawyers argued that evidence against him was connected to the improper search and could not be used against him.

Scalia said that a victory for Hudson would have given "a get-out-of-jail-free card" to him and others.

In a dissent, four justices complained that the decision erases more than 90 years of Supreme Court precedent.

"It weakens, perhaps destroys, much of the practical value of the Constitution's knock-and-announce protection," Justice Stephen Breyer wrote for himself and the three other liberal members.

Breyer said that police will feel free to enter homes without knocking and waiting a short time if they know that there is no punishment for it.

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, a moderate, joined the conservatives in most of the ruling. He wrote his own opinion, however, to say "it bears repeating that it is a serious matter if law enforcement officers violate the sanctity of the home by ignoring the requisites of lawful entry."

=======================================

:fire: :fire:

If you enjoyed reading about "SCOTUS: Police don't have to knock, justices say" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Camp David
June 15, 2006, 12:30 PM
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that police armed with a warrant can barge into homes and seize evidence even if they don't knock, a huge government victory that was decided by President Bush's new justices.

This is bad; very very bad... :mad:

K-Romulus
June 15, 2006, 12:31 PM
but, man oh man . . .:uhoh:

Biker
June 15, 2006, 12:33 PM
Yup. How did Alito get in on the mix?

Biker;)

Daniel T
June 15, 2006, 12:38 PM
Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, a moderate, joined the conservatives in most of the ruling. He wrote his own opinion, however, to say "it bears repeating that it is a serious matter if law enforcement officers violate the sanctity of the home by ignoring the requisites of lawful entry."

So, what's the point of that? You're allowing them to do it, but you still think it's bad? Will the officers involved be scolded hashly before being sent to bed with milk and cookies?

Sindawe
June 15, 2006, 12:48 PM
Is anyone really suprised by this? At first "no-knocks" were for emergencies and dangerous criminals. Then it was because evidence could be destroyed. Then it was for officer safety. Now, they don't even have to go through the motions of knocking and announcing their presence, the Polizei can just come right in and search, heck they don't even have to go through the hassle of getting a warrant, just make up some excuses about funny smells or screams inside. :fire:

Biker
June 15, 2006, 12:51 PM
Hokay, I'm just a dumb ol' hairy-ass Biker, but if I read this right, all warrants are now "no-knock"? Someone tell me I'm wrong.

Biker

WayneConrad
June 15, 2006, 12:57 PM
If you're SCOTUS, you can have your Stare decisis and eat it, too...

They've got more excuses than a 15-year-old trying to explain why he came home late. Bad decision 80 years back? Sorry, Stare decisis. Good decision 80 years ago but we don't like it now? Stare what? Never heard of it.

Sindawe
June 15, 2006, 12:58 PM
Hokay, I'm just a dumb ol' hairy-ass Biker, but if I read this right, all warrants are now "no-knock"? Someone tell me I'm wrong.OK, you're all wrong about that. Now about that bridge you wanted... :neener:

I think you've read that right Biker. I'm still looking for the published ruling.

Biker
June 15, 2006, 01:01 PM
My God, I'm still shaking my head over the Nafta Highway thing and now this?
I gotta go talk to Bro Beam. Maybe he has some advice.

Biker

Sindawe
June 15, 2006, 01:04 PM
Forget Bro Beam Biker, better to spend some time with Bro Browning.

BrennanKG
June 15, 2006, 01:06 PM
This seems like a first step on a rather slippery slope.
:(





B.

Biker
June 15, 2006, 01:07 PM
Well Sindawe, two "Bs" are better than one, or so they tell me.;)

Biker

Lupinus
June 15, 2006, 01:15 PM
The 5-4 ruling clearly signals the court's conservative shift following the departure of moderate Sandra Day O'Connor.

How the hell is this conservative?

I wouldn't mind it so much if it came with a provision stating that when they break into the wrong house and get shot the innocent home owner can't be sent to jail.

Hawkmoon
June 15, 2006, 01:19 PM
So, what's the point of that? You're allowing them to do it, but you still think it's bad? Will the officers involved be scolded hashly before being sent to bed with milk and cookies?
No, they will be scolded harshly and sent home without cookies or milk.

Bad cop. Bad!

I find this decision incredibly distressing. I find the entire notion of no-knocks and "dynamic entries" incredibly distressing. It's even more distressing to me that a bunch of so-called "conservative" justices could possibly condone this sort of thing.

We're doomed. The American experiment has failed.

Rumble
June 15, 2006, 01:23 PM
Lupinus beat me to it--how is this a conservative decision? They voted to increase police powers and abrogate a Constitutional protection.

Lupinus
June 15, 2006, 01:26 PM
So, what's the point of that? You're allowing them to do it, but you still think it's bad? Will the officers involved be scolded hashly before being sent to bed with milk and cookies?

It'll be more along the line of "Bad cop! No doughnut!" :neener:

And then sent off to play and find another house to break into.

Biker
June 15, 2006, 01:27 PM
Who appointed Alito knowing that this case was still unsettled? Who is pushing for amnesty for 20 million illegals? Who is pushing for the North American Union and the death of America as we know it? Who is largely responsible for the Patriot Act?
Tin Foil Hats be damned, there is only so much coincidence that can be termed as such.

Biker

Gordon Fink
June 15, 2006, 01:27 PM
How the hell is this conservative?

Because “conservatives” support “law and order,” don’t you know?

However quietly, I’m afraid the war has just begun. :(

~G. Fink

rem
June 15, 2006, 01:32 PM
Then they shouldn't be surprised what happens when they serve the wrong house on "accident" without announcing themselves.

YellowLab
June 15, 2006, 01:35 PM
The government has had secret warrants for DECADES (FISO courts) and this is just the next step.

You have NO right to be secure in your home, you have no rights.. its for the children, national security, you name it.... but whatever you call it you have lost the privacy of your own home.

YellowLab
June 15, 2006, 01:38 PM
"But suppressing evidence is too high of a penalty, Scalia said, for errors by police in failing to properly announce themselves."

So SCOTUS has now thrown out ALL the rules and if they want you, they will get you. How DARE the PEOPLE expect the gubment to follow the rules?

The Consititution is nothing more than toilet paper from this day forward.

Tokugawa
June 15, 2006, 01:39 PM
I guess it is now our responsibility to ensure they knock. Ideally, our houses will come equipped with a drawbridge, portcullis, and heavily armored door. The shift in attitude here is remarkable- we are really going to the us vs them mentality in our Gov-police relations with the citizens. I wonder how long they will need a warrent for this?
And I wonder if those super sensitive congresscritters will be up in arms about OUR constitutional rights being violated? RE- thier delicate natures being upset at a congressmans offices being searched?

RaetherEnt
June 15, 2006, 01:42 PM
So, just how long does anyone think it will be before the No-Knock raid vs. the Castle Doctrine battle it out in court?

The most serious offense on my record in 35 years has been 62 in a 45, so obviously, they would be in the wrong house. ANYONE comes through my door at 3 a.m...is gonna get shot.

Gordon Fink
June 15, 2006, 01:44 PM
It’s difficult to fight in court when you’ve already been killed by police gunfire.

~G. Fink

TallPine
June 15, 2006, 01:45 PM
No comment :(

Camp David
June 15, 2006, 01:49 PM
My God, I'm still shaking my head over the Nafta Highway thing and now this?

There is a company in West Virginia I believe that makes steel solid-core home residence doors that are immune to normal police break-in battering rams (heavy-hinged, solid-steel with full length dead-bolds). The doors actually look a lot like the door on a gun safe, but tailored for your home. In order to install they require a complete renovation on your home because enhanced doors are locked into home wall framing.... in any event... this company's stock just doubled on the NYSE as a result of this ruling! ;)

RaetherEnt
June 15, 2006, 01:53 PM
Good point.

greg700
June 15, 2006, 01:57 PM
What's the company name?

mzmtg
June 15, 2006, 02:06 PM
I used to work for Norshield Security Products (http://www.compudyne.com/ap/). Most of our work was for the State Department, but we did have a few residential projects as well.

Maybe I need to upgrade my entire house to a 15-minute FE rating...

bg
June 15, 2006, 02:10 PM
So do some or most agree the U.S IS turning into a
fiefdom ? The Conservative movement I thought meant
less taxes, moderate spending and smaller government.

So this Admin and Congress, the ones we voted in...have
managed to blow the deficit out the door, have spent
more than any previous government but has stuck to
the small government..Its very own lil government
when it comes to its own secrets, etc, but
domestic spying, government intrusion, and
now FORCED government intrusion, land
grabbing, etc is now the norm. That sounds
like a obese government to me.

Who do we have to blame but ourselves ? I'm guilty.
I voted for the President twice, I supported Alito
and Roberts and I've voted for the my House Rep who
is now under investigation for military favors. And
here I thought I was helping to secure a bit more
private freedom by voting this way.

All I really did was just throw gas on a small fire that
has now blown up right in my face. I made a mistake
voting the way I did, but not again.

What is alarming is when an anti-gun admin gets into
office. Who do you think the new domestic anti terrorist
targets will be ? Do you own a gun ?

And now I'm reading posts about installing reinforced doors to
protect us from OUR OWN VERY GOVERNMENT !

Boy was Mr.Jefferson ever right on this..
"The government of a nation may be usurped by the forcible intrusion of an individual into the throne. But to conquer its will so as to rest the right on that, the only legitimate basis, requires long acquiescence and cessation of all opposition." --Thomas Jefferson to ----, 1825. ME 16:127


Oh Lord what has happened to us...:(

xd9fan
June 15, 2006, 02:16 PM
WELL I SAY I'M NOT GOING TO WAIT UNTILL THE INTRUDER (that broke into MY HOUSE) ID'S THEMSELVES BEFORE I SHOOT, LAW ABIDDING CITIZEN SAYS.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that police armed with a warrant can barge into homes and seize evidence even if they don't knock, a huge government victory that was decided by President Bush's new justices.

wow big surprize that Bush's picks ARE NOT CONSERVATIVE.

(why do I feel like telling Camp David, "See I told you so")

xd9fan
June 15, 2006, 02:21 PM
Is anyone really suprised by this? At first "no-knocks" were for emergencies and dangerous criminals. Then it was because evidence could be destroyed. Then it was for officer safety. Now, they don't even have to go through the motions of knocking and announcing their presence, the Polizei can just come right in and search, heck they don't even have to go through the hassle of getting a warrant, just make up some excuses about funny smells or screams inside.

and do what the ATF does and just go in with a blank warrent to fill in the blanks after the damage and death.

HCfan
June 15, 2006, 02:24 PM
I have a friend that built his house with reinforced ceder block and put in the steel doors, bullet proof windows and then had a steel "safe room" (was also his safe).

He isn't paranoid, just had way too much money. But it proved to be an asset when he was out of town for a week and a trio of criminals tried to break into the home. They couldn't do it and they tried everything (rams, crowbars, F150 pickup (which was found disabled due to the front being crushed in), etc..) and then left.

Since they left the truck, they were found (took the tags but they forgot about the VIN).

If I had the money, I think that it would be a good idea now. Then I thought he was just eccentric.

mzmtg
June 15, 2006, 02:29 PM
If I had the money, I think that it would be a good idea now. Then I thought he was just eccentric.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v507/mzmtg/dilbert2006366400518.gif

GEM
June 15, 2006, 02:42 PM
Naive political view of conservative. It is not a freedom based term when put forward by the Bushies and social conservatives. It is a authoritarian, controlling of the populace, and get your personal space view.

It will be enforced by the states' power. Personal freedom and the strong BOR is not a high point of the social conservative movement.

So the conservatives on the court are statist authoritarians. Big surprise. As long as the trains run on time, we have a flag burning amendment, no gay marriage, no kind of abortion at all - they are just dandy? Unfortunately, they happily through away the rest of our rights at the same time. I fyou think they will increase individual power by voting some comprehensive 2nd Amend. decision - well, you are smoking the stuff that the no-knock raids have save us from.

Jeff White
June 15, 2006, 02:56 PM
I hate to throw a wet blanket on the smoldering embers of the indignation of the we're turning into a police state crowd.....but would one of you explain to me what the practical difference is between knocking on the door while you loudly announce POLICE WITH A SEARCH WARRANT and just loudly announcing POLICE WITH A SEARCH WARRANT and waiting a few seconds and then entering the residence? Having served a few warrants I can tell you that the entry team is making enough noise when they announce their presence that it's doubtful the occupants could hear anyone knocking over the din of a dozen of so officers announcing their presence.

In practical terms I don't see how this ruling changes anything about a knock and announce entry. The knock and announce happens at the same time. The amout of time that is waited before entry was the same.

A true no knock warrant service is when you don't announce your presense at all but just enter the residence. True no knock warrants are very hard to get and contrary to the popular beliefs of members of internet gun forums are very rare.

Jeff

Biker
June 15, 2006, 02:59 PM
I'm no lawyer Jeff, but didn't this ruling just make *all* warrants on demand no knocks?

Biker

PCGS65
June 15, 2006, 03:02 PM
Heck the way I see it with a warrant they always could enter your home whether they knock and you answer or they knock and you don't answer or when your not home.:uhoh:

Jeff White
June 15, 2006, 03:05 PM
Biker,
I haven't read the decision yet, just the news reports so my take may be wrong. But from everything I have seen so far, the ruling doesn't eliminate the requirement to announce your presense. It just means that the officers didn't err enough by failing to knock, but still announcing their presense and waiting to enter that the seized evidence shouldn't be suppressed.

Jeff

GTSteve03
June 15, 2006, 03:15 PM
I really don't even know what to think about this anymore. I knew Jeff would be first in line to defend this, but it just makes me sick.

All of this thanks to our (neverending) War on (some) Drugs. :barf:

benEzra
June 15, 2006, 03:26 PM
I haven't read the decision yet, just the news reports so my take may be wrong. But from everything I have seen so far, the ruling doesn't eliminate the requirement to announce your presense. It just means that the officers didn't err enough by failing to knock, but still announcing their presense and waiting to enter that the seized evidence shouldn't be suppressed.

Pausing for 3 seconds before breaking the door down is "waiting to enter"?

Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for the majority, said Detroit police acknowledge violating that rule when they called out their presence at a man's door then went inside three seconds to five seconds later.

I don't know about you, but I can't unlock and open my door in 3 seconds. What this does is to completely turn the concept of a "knock and announce" warrant on its head.

If the situation calls for a no-knock warrant, then the police need to go to the magistrate and get a no-knock warrant. Otherwise, you've just destroyed every distinction between K&A's and no-knocks.

xd9fan
June 15, 2006, 03:26 PM
come on Jeff......tell me how this decision helps the individual's liberty.......

please tell me how this too will not be abused by the police........

please tell me how this advances/protects individual liberty...........

This is one, just one, of the thousand cuts needed for the incremental change to take place. And at each small cut, theres alway a few that cry "what the big deal"


come on Jeff.....

Jeff White
June 15, 2006, 03:28 PM
GTSteve03,
If the news reports are correct, what has this ruling changed? Can you answer my question about what pratical difference it means? I'd really like to know where everyone is coming from. All the moaning and wailing seems like a kneejerk panic reaction.

I'll be the first to admit my take was wrong if this ruling does in fact make every warrant a no knock warrant. But I don't think it does. I have no doubt that the court would not even have heard this case and the evidence would have been rightfully suppressed in the lower courts had they not announced their presense and waited before entry.

xd9fan,
The court doesn't exist to always defend personal liberty. In cases like this the court has to balance the needs of society to enforce the laws it passed with the right of the individual to be free of unwarranted government intrusions into his life. Like it or not there has to be some kind of balance between the needs of all of us (society with it's laws) and the rights of the individual. If my take on the decision is right, what has the court actually changed?
Jeff

The Real Hawkeye
June 15, 2006, 03:29 PM
How the hell is this conservative?The only sense in which this can be viewed as "conservative" is if they justified it by asserting that it relates to a police matter, and police matters are State matters, according to our Constitution. They would further assert that the Fourth Amendment only restrains the actions of the Federal Government. That's not what they argued, however. What they argued was, essentially, that to follow the Constitution would be too grave an inconvenience for the police officers and the criminal justice system, so lets just forget about it.

BigO01
June 15, 2006, 03:32 PM
I hate to throw a wet blanket on the smoldering embers of the indignation of the we're turning into a police state crowd.....but would one of you explain to me what the practical difference is between knocking on the door while you loudly announce POLICE WITH A SEARCH WARRANT and just loudly announcing POLICE WITH A SEARCH WARRANT and waiting a few seconds and then entering the residence? Having served a few warrants I can tell you that the entry team is making enough noise when they announce their presence that it's doubtful the occupants could hear anyone knocking over the din of a dozen of so officers announcing their presence.

In practical terms I don't see how this ruling changes anything about a knock and announce entry. The knock and announce happens at the same time. The amout of time that is waited before entry was the same.

A true no knock warrant service is when you don't announce your presense at all but just enter the residence. True no knock warrants are very hard to get and contrary to the popular beliefs of members of internet gun forums are very rare.

Jeff

That's all well and good but it would sure be nice if you fellas "LEO's" would be sure you're at a criminals door before you serve your warrants .

There was a story in the St. Louis Post Dispatch a few years ago where the police kicked in a door , destroyed it , shoved machine guns in family members faces and tossed them on the floor holding guns to there heads for 10 minutes before they relized they weren't at a crack house . After it was all said and done the only thing the jerk in charge had to say about scarying the heck out of those people was "well if they had been out shopping or at the movies they wouldn't have been scared" and walked away from the reporter .

No apology , no fixing there door just "come on guys lets go kick in another door" .

There was another piece years ago I think in WA where they shot a homeowner who was on the phone calling the police because he thought his home was being invaded and had his pistol in his hand when they busted in , he is now permently paralized because they shot him . Their reasonable search was based on a street infomants lies about where he got his drugs from , when intervied as to why they simply took the informants word the cops said "well we surveyed the house and he had two $50 thousand+ cars and fit the profile of a drug dealer" , the guy was a CEO of a company and made over a quarter of a million a year and could afford to drive whatever he wanted too legallly !!!!

And lets not forget that guy in NY city they mowed down with their 9mm's firing what was it close to 60 rounds when he didn't do anything at all .

There may still be some very decent police left in this country but I think they are the minority , as many of them seem fit the NRA's description of "Jack Bootted Thugs !" .

Hitlers SS is alive and well in the streets of America and you don't have to be a Jew to need to be afraid for your very life at any given moment !

GTSteve03
June 15, 2006, 03:47 PM
f the news reports are correct, what has this ruling changed? Can you answer my question about what pratical difference it means? I'd really like to know where everyone is coming from. All the moaning and wailing seems like a kneejerk panic reaction.
A 1995 SCOTUS ruling made no-knock warrants illegal except in certain circumstances.

Know what those circumstances were?

1. Apprehension of peril (ie. Officer safety.)
2. Useless gesture.
3. Destruction of evidence.

Now tell me why that ruling needed to be overturned and what else needed to be added to that list since it wasn't encompassing enough to make no-knock warrants a sometimes thing?

Source: http://www.fbi.gov/publications/leb/1997/may976.htm

ArmedBear
June 15, 2006, 03:53 PM
Because “conservatives” support “law and order,” don’t you know?

You know as well as I do that "conservative" means something different in legal vs. political parlance. Sometimes the meanings are similar, sometimes not.

Now personally, I see this ruling as far less significant than the incremental but far more threatening creep of "probable cause". This has not been the result of a single ruling, but rather death by a thousand cuts.

It's true that, once the pigs (in the Simpsonian sense, of course) have their warrant, they have a lot of power to do whatever, inside your home. Whether they knock, and how long they wait, is a matter of tactics as much as anything.

If they can do poorly-defined and unlimited searches, or enter your home WITHOUT a warrant based on "probable cause", THEN we have a police state. And that's where we are going, if we're not already there. Even the fact that the cops can pull you over on the pretext of your taillight flickering, but without genuine probable cause, is an enormous problem.

I'm willing to allow "hot pursuit" as justification, but not the fact that someone in the house is "probably" breaking some law. It's getting close to that.

TallPine
June 15, 2006, 03:54 PM
The court doesn't exist to always defend personal liberty.
Well, there's no arguing with that :(

Sorta like 3 foxes, one of whom is supposedly looking out for the rights of the chickens ;)

Carl N. Brown
June 15, 2006, 03:57 PM
Knock-knock
Who's there?
Police with a warrant!

Police announced "Police with a warrant" waited a fiew beats and
walked in without actually going knovk-knock first.

The Fourth Amendemnt does not require knock first. It does not
even mention announcement before entry. However, knock,
announce, then enter with cooperation of searchee usually
enhances the safety of all concerned. No knock should be
the exception not the rule.

This seems like a first step on a rather slippery slope.[/QUOYE]
This is just another step on a slope we've been slipping on for decades.

[QUOTE]scotus: suppressing evidence is too high of a penalty
Gee, I thought suppressing evidence for such mis-steps was
the penalty intended to prevent such mis-steps in the first place.
What discipline is left to keep Joe Friday (Dragnet) from morphing
into Vic Macky (The Shield)?

I haven't read the decision yet, just the news reports
Yes, the actual court decisions are often quite a bit more
nuanced than the news reports and need to be decoded by
legal experts and not newspaper reporters.

I am still apprehensive but not willing to jump into the
bumker just yet.

ArmedBear
June 15, 2006, 04:03 PM
BTW, has anyone considered that the real problem with this is that the no-knock entry was done to bust someone for crimes that shouldn't be crimes?

If the guy was a known mob hitman with 25 murders under his belt, would any of us really think the cops should have to knock? I don't.

But he was caught with drugs and a gun. So the hell what? Why is the possession of these objects (or any objects short of, perhaps, a canister of weaponized anthrax or a nuclear weapon) a crime at all?

That is the real question, to me.

12-34hom
June 15, 2006, 04:07 PM
Let the hand wringing begin.... our favorite catch phrases - JBT - SS - Nazis have already be bantered about....

I'm waiting for Waco and Ruby Ridge to to be mentioned for some vague reference to this ruling.

What has this ruling changed - in Iowa - nothing - no knock warrants are not issued. You announce your presence - enter - whatever residence is named and specified on your S.W. [After going before a judge and articulating your reasons for your warrant in the first place].

12-34hom.

wheelgunslinger
June 15, 2006, 04:08 PM
Meh.
Police have been getting away with this stuff for a while. Justice Scalie just gave your attorney an unpierceable veil to face when he prepares the lawsuit you will be filing after they break into your home, violate your property rights, and maybe wound or kill you or your family should you be quick enough to grab your home defense tackle before they get you cuffed and stuffed and duct taped.
I'm not a tin foil hat kinda guy, really. But, I never thought I'd see a time when I had to wonder, when I heard my door getting kicked in @ 0400 hours, that it might be the police, so I should put my weapon down and cower in the corner. Not here in the USA.
My mistake for assuming all the stuff about the U.S my grandpa taught me wasn't fiction.

"And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?" W.B. Yeats

Smurfslayer
June 15, 2006, 04:09 PM
As a veteran of a human home invasion encounter, I feel qualified to comment.

Can you answer my question about what pratical difference it means? I'd really like to know where everyone is coming from. All the moaning and wailing seems like a kneejerk panic reaction.

Yes. It is a stake through the heart of the presumption of innocence.
"A man's home is his castle". That phrase in one form or another goes back to the very first stone structures legally speaking. It was, and always has been considered a common courtesy to knock before entering a structure that does not belong to you. This has been part of the common law here since Jamestown.

When you are in your home, you are afforded certain legal rights and privileges that do not necessarily extend to you outside the privacy of your home or the curtilage, and in some place, your property. Even in my humble home, 3-5 seconds isn't enough time for me to get up out of bed, and get to a close enough position to be able to shout loud enough that I'm coming to the door, much less get to it and let someone in.

Because I have been involved in an encounter with an unwanted, uninvited visitor, I have made decisions that ensure *MY* security, and the security of the lawful occupants of my dwelling. I often here the phrase "I'm going home to my family at the end of my shift." We're talking about people who are IN their home WITH THEIR FAMILY.


A door being burst down, knocked open is an invasion, without the property owner's permission. Warrant notwithstanding, at it's base level it is occupying territory of another by force. That is an attack in it's least common denominator, which violates decency, public decorum, and as an act it is malum inse. This decision says that agents of the state can simply enter the structure specified in the warrant and although it's "bad" it shouldn't mean that evidence gets suppressed. I don't know how you treat your uninvited guests, perhaps you're better at hospitatlity than I am...

I think that this decision is going to prove to be a WLM - Waco Like Moment(tm). Criminals will soon understand they can be "hit" at any time, in any place by the police. There will be significantly less incentive for them to "go quietly" since the constitutional protection against unreasonable searches and seizures now no longer exists. It's unlikely to affect me personally, I don't conduct my affairs in a manner that typically draws unwanted attention from the law - except when one of them slanders my good name by accusing me of exceeding the posted speed limit or the like... Still, to understand why a lot of people are offended by this, look at where this protection stood 100 years ago, and 150 years ago and compare it with today.

Jeff
June 15, 2006, 04:14 PM
In cases like this the court has to balance the needs of society to enforce the laws it passed with the right of the individual

Exactly what kind of societal needs are so lofty that when busting down people's doors (even the doors of guilty parties) it would compel any individual to feel safer because of it? What type of needs would such dangerous and often criminal action serve?

ArmedBear
June 15, 2006, 04:20 PM
Exactly what kind of societal needs are so lofty that when busting down people's doors (even the doors of guilty parties) it would compel any individual to feel safer because of it?

Simple. As I wrote above, the real problem with this case is that the guy was not apparently a serious criminal.

If there was someone holed up in a house, and he'd just barbecued and eaten ten schoolchildren he'd kidnapped after killing their teacher and the principal with a machete, most individuals would feel a lot safer if the cops went in and got the bastard, preferably not alive.

But someone with some drugs? You're right. I care a lot more about the sanctity of my home than I do about someone with some drugs.

Navy joe
June 15, 2006, 04:28 PM
Knock, no Knock; Announce, do not announce. Doesn't really matter what happens now. Police make a "procedural error" in announcement now and they can explain it away, avoid lawsuit, and DAs can keep evidence found by pointing to this precedent. Theoretically we do not live in slave cabins or the king's serfdom, so what we live in is ours, not at another's pleasure. To remove legal consequence from violating a free person's domain is to invite the legal consequence to be replaced with others. Important evidence may be there, but a search warrant subject is still quite innocent until they are proven guilty. This decision alters that balance by not requiring police to give the homeowner a chance to demonstrate their character by opening the door when knocked upon.

Felony arrest warrants, genuine no-knocks for officer safety? Forced entry of occupied dwellings needs to be seen as a last resort, probably safest for all involved.

Edit. P.S. I have been served with several civil warrants for failure to appear/ pay child support. None of the names were remotely me, different genders and ethnic groups. My house I lived in was formerly a rental. What if those same folks had been reported as making meth in an anonymous tip by a vindictive ex- that wasn't getting her child support? Would I be here? I spent several years of bachelordom sleeping ten feet from the front door on the couch with a pistol parked on the coffee table between me and the door. An erroneous no announcement raid would have gone badly for me. If I answered a knock warrant I would probably be stuffed and cuffed, but alive to tell the cops they got the wrong guy.

Carl N. Brown
June 15, 2006, 04:33 PM
I'm waiting for Waco and Ruby Ridge to to be mentioned . . . .

Wait no longer.

Ruby Ridge
1985 - FBI agent Kenneth Weiss sends an unarned messenger to the
Weaver cabin with a request for an interview; Randy and Vicki Weaver
come down and meet with Weiss and five others agents for hours.
1992 - US Marshals on a surveillance mission in connectiom with a
eighteen month old bench warrant are chased by a Weaver dog through
the woods, ending in a shooting that leaves the dog, Sammy Weaver and
DUSM Bill Degan dead.
Waco
1992 - Koresh and his lawyer meet with the sheriff's department to
discuss neighbor complaints about gunfire at the Davidian rifle range.
1993 - BATF agents use a knock-service warrant to execute a dynamic
entry raid with a team trained at Ft. Hood by Special Forces; somebody
shoots and the other side returns fire; ten die the first day.

Sometimes the dynamic entry paramilitary SWAT tactics get people killed
when less confrontational procedures worked in the past and should
have been tried.

For the general run of searchs, the knock-announce-then enter is
safer for all than the no-knock or this announce-then enter procedure.

Roadwild17
June 15, 2006, 04:33 PM
When they start crying about good cops getting shot by people when the cop broke into the wrong house, I’m going to turn my head in discuss. Why would a cop just barge in, doesn’t that put there life in more danger? How many wrongful death lawsuits are gona fly when the cops barge in and you go for your gun, but you didn’t know it was the cops?

Gordon Fink
June 15, 2006, 04:34 PM
For Jeff White and the other defenders of the police state, the problem is the trend that is being created. All warrants may now be effectively construed as no-knock warrants, and though they will not always be used as such, the practice will no doubt increase. The accidental shooting of police officers and householders will surely increase along with it. Thus will the clamor rise for further firearms prohibitions in the name of both officer and public safety.

~G. Fink

ArmedBear
June 15, 2006, 04:37 PM
There is another wrinkle, of course.

These entries seem to go awry too often in densely-populated areas, with cops going in the wrong window or door. California law states that someone who forcibly enters my home can be assumed to intend to do my family harm, and that I can legally use deadly force to stop them, with no further evaluation required. No-knocks are bad for cops as well as citizens.

Legally, then, the cops can get a warrant and bust down my door. And I can legally shoot them dead right then and there, at least until someone has pulled out a badge. Who wins here? Nobody.

ArmedBear
June 15, 2006, 04:39 PM
When they start crying about good cops getting shot by people when the cop broke into the wrong house

If someone drives down the wrong street and ends up in San Diego Bay, we don't call him a good driver. If a cop breaks into the wrong house, obviously he wasn't a really good cop.:rolleyes:

Chaz
June 15, 2006, 04:46 PM
Jeff,
The answer to all of this is quite simple. Incrementalism.

For example, Before the 1930's a citizen could own a machine gun
After the Miller decesion a citizen had to pay a tax (read registration) to own a SBR or machine gun.
After 1968 you could no longer purchase guns via mail.
After 1986 no more machine guns could be imported or manufactured for non gov or police use.
1994-2004 certain rifles/carbines with certain features could no longer be produced or possesed and handgun magazines were restricted in amount held.

This, like many other things, was a slow erosion of our fundamental rights granted by our creator, not by our government. Now it seems the other way around is happening.

I dont see the responses here as "knee jerk", rather as an outcry to the incrementalism that we see more and more of everyday as our country seemingly gives away it's rights to the government.

Parker Dean
June 15, 2006, 04:49 PM
OK, I think it's time to stop complaining about this and turn our attention to fixing it. The eminent domain issue shows us one way which is to burn up the ears of local and state legislators to make no-knocks illegal. That's one way, anyone have another?

Optical Serenity
June 15, 2006, 04:55 PM
A true no knock warrant service is when you don't announce your presense at all but just enter the residence. True no knock warrants are very hard to get and contrary to the popular beliefs of members of internet gun forums are very rare.

+1! Finally a voice of reason in here. All the chest thumping super paranoia gets old fast.

This ruling has not changed anything, just re-affirmed what already exists.

This stupid case shouldn't even have made it to the supreme court, but apparently there are judges out there who are ignorant. (Imagine that!)

Why are internet gun forums filled with the most anti-govt anti-police anti-civil order super paranoid people I've ever seen? I wonder how high the felon count probably is on gun forums? :rolleyes:

No-Knock provisions are VERY hard to get, as they should be. I've never seen one just given away. All you folks who talk about this stuff here, should go and see this stuff for yourself. You probably never will, being as how a private citizen is not going to get a search warrant, but it is not easy to get...especially with a no-knock.

ProficientRifleman
June 15, 2006, 05:02 PM
If the news reports are correct, what has this ruling changed?

You need to clarify the question, Jeff. What has changed, since when? Since the day before yesterday? Pactically, nothing, since yesterday Police were doing this anyway and getting away with it because...they meant well.

What has changed in the last thirty years? EVERYTHING...history didn't begin when you were borne. It didn't begin when YOU became a police officer. There is a tendency for folks to think that curent circumstances "Have always ben this way" if it has become accepted practice.

Can you answer my question about what pratical difference it means?

It means, Jeff, that any PRETENSE of a connection to the ancient common law is now desolved. It means that old anachronistic, quaint litttle concept of a man having a RIGHT to his property, and a right to defend his property, and that it is a sin against ALL FREE MEN to violate the sanctity of a man's home is now completely abandoned. The ancient principle that a man's home is his castle is now completely gone. Before this ruling there was the slightest clinging thread connecting us to that ancient principle. No more.

I'll be the first to admit my take was wrong if this ruling does in fact make every warrant a no knock warrant. But I don't think it does.

Wuld you or any other police officer truly object in principle if this was indeed the case? I doubt you would.

The court doesn't exist to always defend personal liberty.

It is supposed to! Read the Declaration of Independence. Supposedly, governments are instituted amoung men for the purpose of securing the rights of life liberty and property...uh... persuit of happiness.

Governments are NOT instituded amoung free men in order to redistribute wealth, grant free stuff to some, and confiscate property from others. Peace Officers should be aware of the Historic principles of the Common Law. I said in another post, that a peace officer either fully believes in his oath to support and defend the Constitution of the U.S. and of the State in which he is commisioned, or he has perjured himself.

Instead, these days, they just shrug their shoulders and say..."Bust down doors? Wlll hell, I guess thats what we're doin this week..."

God help us...

K-Romulus
June 15, 2006, 05:05 PM
Sure, the police may be able to announce themselves without knocking and meet the knock and annouce requirement in certain cases.

But how are you to know (in, say a townhouse or apartment building) that they are "announcing" at YOUR residence without the knock on YOUR door?

That is, if you hear them at all (due to traffic noise, machinery noise, snoring, whatever).

Maybe if we all lived out on three acres of land the argument that it is "reasonable" for just an announcement would be at least have some weight under a laugh-test.

But we don't all live in a single-story home on three acres of open land.

bill in IN
June 15, 2006, 05:09 PM
Just MHO, but I think they're knocking down the poisoned fruit argument. Seems to me from what I've read they are not condoning the no-knock warrants, they are saying that throwing out the evidence is not the appropriate cure.

No-knock is dangerous for both LEO's, citizens, and the country.

alan
June 15, 2006, 05:14 PM
Re this ruling, what has become of The Fourth Amendment.

Having asked that question, does this ruling make for a new high or a new low in USSC jurusprudence?

Cosmoline
June 15, 2006, 05:15 PM
On the plus side, I've never heard the cops approach any structure with anything resembling stealth. Even a squad of undercover feds who came to the neighborhood to track down a suspect in a drug case stuck out like sore thumbs. Nice shoes, pressed shirts, obviously concealed firearms and dark glasses on a rainy day--coupled with the "cop walk" that they all seem to share. The locals arrive with flashing lights, squelching radios and lots of thumping. I've had the police to my door several times, and I knew it was APD long before the knock.

But if someone really did kick my door down with no warning, I'd shoot first and ask questions later. That's a really good way to get cops killed, not to mention homeowners.

Vex
June 15, 2006, 05:20 PM
Just MHO, but I think they're knocking down the poisoned fruit argument. Seems to me from what I've read they are not condoning the no-knock warrants, they are saying that throwing out the evidence is not the appropriate cure.


I just read the opinion, and this is the same consludion I've come to. At no time did the opinion state that failure to knock and announce is condoned, but instead elaborated that suppressing evidence found during a warranted search of property is not the appropriate remedy, and that mistakes on the part of law enforcement should not allow a "get out of jail free" card to criminals.

I blame CNN. It's very easy to misconstrue the true meaning of the opinion, and CNN has facilitated this.

veloce851
June 15, 2006, 05:40 PM
Navy Joe said:
Theoretically we do not live in slave cabins or the king's serfdom, so what we live in is ours, not at another's pleasure.

Theoretically we DO live in "slave cabins" and/or the king's serfdom.
Property taxes are nothing more than rent. levy, tax, tariff, extortion, blackmail, call it what you like.
I'd like to find ONE person who truly owns their land. I don't know of anyone who does.
We earn the right to rent. yippee

I found this the quite disturbing...
The 5-4 ruling clearly signals the court's conservative shift following the departure of moderate Sandra Day O'Connor.

Clearly?? Conservative shift??

Am I the only one that finds that statement misleading, flawed, and downright disturbing? (rhetorical.. obviously I'm not the only one)

It sounds like pure propaganda to try and lump such a decision into a conservative catagory.

kel
June 15, 2006, 05:43 PM
If the evidence is not suppressed, what will motivate police to follow the proper procedure? We see this every day in the way police treat people they don't actually intend to prosecute, especially innocent people like me. The politest behavior I have ever seen coming from an LEO was directed towards a man who had been shooting at several officers just hours earlier (it was all on camera)... When I was detained for open carrying I received the most horrendous treatment I have ever experienced in my life.

saltydog
June 15, 2006, 05:54 PM
I kinda hope I live long enough to see "Warrants" declared unconstitutional":uhoh: I gota $20.00 bill that I say someday they won't be needed.:eek:

WYO
June 15, 2006, 06:26 PM
The police had probable cause. A judge had given them the warrant. What the police didn’t do was knock on the door. They went in and found the incriminating evidence. At issue was the remedy for failing to knock. The court did not think that excluding the evidence seized pursuant to judicially recognized probable cause was the required remedy. The ruling doesn’t prevent the police from getting sued for failing to follow the correct procedure. They remain at risk if something goes down bad because they didn’t knock. It doesn't prevent them from being disciplined. It doesn’t change the laws of self defense. It doesn’t change the ability of states to provide more rights involving state prosecutions. It does define a limitation on the exclusionary rule that many would not have predicted. But, I don’t see the exclusionary rule in the 4th amendment, either. It is a judicially created doctrine created in the 20th century, and remains susceptible of interpretation.

Linux&Gun Guy
June 15, 2006, 06:35 PM
Clearly we need to get some sort of early warning system that will alarm when someone is coming close to your house so you will have some time to figure out who it is and if it is a SWAT team strip naked and lie on the floor(the only way to ensure you will not get shot)

A sad state of affairs:(

Werewolf
June 15, 2006, 06:43 PM
If the evidence is not suppressed, what will motivate police to follow the proper procedure?+1 and the heart of the decision. We'll just have to wait and see if things go the way many are predicting.

Vex
June 15, 2006, 07:06 PM
If the evidence is not suppressed, what will motivate police to follow the proper procedure? We see this every day in the way police treat people they don't actually intend to prosecute, especially innocent people like me. The politest behavior I have ever seen coming from an LEO was directed towards a man who had been shooting at several officers just hours earlier (it was all on camera)... When I was detained for open carrying I received the most horrendous treatment I have ever experienced in my life.

I wish I could tell you. Unfortunately, I don't have all the answers. Prosecuting the police isn't the answer. Letting the criminal go isn't the answer. It just doesn't leave anything else that the police will lose if they fail to follow procedure.

I wish I knew where this one was going to go.... :uhoh:

cropcirclewalker
June 15, 2006, 07:42 PM
Seems to me like the supremes should have lineated what would be an appropriate penalty, not just that it was a "get out of jail free" card.

I suggest that the cops that failed to follow the rules, made the mistake, whatever....should just get fired.

Maybe that would help them to pay attention.

Too bad the supremes aren't as wise as me.

BigO01
June 15, 2006, 07:57 PM
When they start crying about good cops getting shot by people when the cop broke into the wrong house, I’m going to turn my head in discuss. Why would a cop just barge in, doesn’t that put there life in more danger? How many wrongful death lawsuits are gona fly when the cops barge in and you go for your gun, but you didn’t know it was the cops?

Ha , fact of the matter is when you hear the physco garbage about owning a gun to make up for not being a man it usually fits most of your local cops , they aren't concearned about their safety because they're to busy running around playing SWAT and Mr. Big Bad me and my Badge and nightstick with my 10 friends who will kick your butt legally because we are to chcken chit to fight you one on one !

A couple of months ago I was almost run into by a clown at 2:30 am as I am coming home from work he was running full tilt off of a side street lights only no siren came sliding sideways into the intersection fishtailing as he straighten out few seconds later another flys past me at God knows how fast . When I peak the next hill I see the one that past me almost get slammed into by a third moron comming off of a side street . Know what the Keystone cops were doing ? Two miles down the road there are 7 of them with more coming mind you , laying over there hoods jumping out of their cars with AR's and shotguns all at a Rent A Center , "common boys lets go shoot up the whole dang neighborhood over a couple of used TV's or cheap furniture some dummy is trying to steal" but hey they looked real cool running around with their AR's .

Gordon Fink
June 15, 2006, 08:25 PM
I wish I knew where this one was going to go.…

More dead cops, more dead citizens, and more infringements on our rights.

~G. Fink

Zedicus
June 15, 2006, 08:36 PM
How many Dead Innocent Civillians & Cops will this take before these morons change thier minds?

Gordon Fink
June 15, 2006, 08:38 PM
Far too many cops have already sacrificed their lives in our useless “war on drugs.” :(

~G. Fink

Werewolf
June 15, 2006, 09:28 PM
I wish I could tell you. Unfortunately, I don't have all the answers. Prosecuting the police isn't the answer.It isn't? I thought breaking the law made one a criminal. As agents of the state violating the bill of rights is breaking the law - or at least it used to be. Letting the criminal go isn't the answer.It absolutely is the answer - regardless of what commons sense says to most. The Bill of Rights puts limits on exactly what the government can do. If the government violates those restrictions (even under color of law or interpretations of law made by old men who've forgotten what the BOR is all about) then the citizens (that's us - and yes even the criminals) should get a pass otherwise the whole concept of a government by the people, for the people and most importantly of the people is just so much hot air. It just doesn't leave anything else that the police will lose if they fail to follow procedure.And that is the problem. With nothing to lose the government and it's agents are free to behave exactly as it pleases and we the people stop being citizens and start being subjects as a result.

Bartholomew Roberts
June 15, 2006, 09:51 PM
The actual opinion is here (http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/05pdf/04-1360.pdf) if anyone wishes to read it.

I've only read nine pages of the 51 page decision so far; but there appears to be an important distinction the news reports didn't catch - the court did not say that ALL violations of knock and announce would not result in exclusion of evidence. They said that because the police had a search warrant AND the violation of knock & announce was not a "but for" cause (as in "but for the violation of the knock and announce rule police would never have found the evidence of drugs and guns") in this case, that they would not apply the exclusionary rule that throws out evidence obtained by the search.

Basically they say that because police still would have found the evidence even if they had followed the knock & announce requirements, they aren't going to throw it out in this case because that would be too harsh and let an obvious drug dealer off scot-free.

It is a BIG step backwards from the previous Fourth Amendment standards in legal terms; but not quite as big as the newspaper article would suggest.

If the evidence is not suppressed, what will motivate police to follow the proper procedure?

The majority opinion suggests that civil suits will still serve as a deterrent to police departments. I am kind of skeptical about that myself.

Geno
June 15, 2006, 09:53 PM
There was some legislative debate weeks back in Michigan (I think in May 2006) about making Castle Doctrine (currently a "common Law") into a legislated law. Did it ever pass?

Seems perhaps it's now a mute point, or is it? Because, the state law can trump the Constitution, via holding a higher standard.

Interesting.

Doc2005

Smurfslayer
June 15, 2006, 10:14 PM
The ruling doesn’t prevent the police from getting sued for failing to follow the correct procedure. They remain at risk if something goes down bad because they didn’t knock. It doesn't prevent them from being disciplined

But sovereign immunity does and the same team of taxpayer funded lawyers who prosecute the victim of the invasion will defend the police who execute it and any wrongdoing they might commit.

In the decsion, that the method of entry was unconstitutional is not in dispute. What the words of the decision did was basically expand to totality the exclusionary rule. In other words, an unlawful search, unreasonable search, seizure is no longer protected by 4A. The police may now enter your home at any hour on any day, with or without a warrant and if they find something laying around that leads them to suspect that you might have committed a crime, they can now root around anywhere on your property and if they find ANYTHING, you can be arrested. That's the practical effect of this ruling.

ConstitutionCowboy
June 15, 2006, 10:19 PM
From an article: "Prosecutors said officers shouted "Police, search warrant," but readily admit that they did not knock on the door and that they waited only three to five seconds before entering and finding Hudson sitting on his couch. He was eventually convicted of drug possession."

Clearly, the officers did not follow the caveats of the search warrant. They didn't knock. The "Good Guys" got it wrong on this one. The "Bad Guys and Gal" would have done no better.

Lets consider a few things here. The cops had a warrant to gather evidence. They gathered that evidence. They did it in an illegal and improper manner. I would conclude that the improper force used to gather that evidence should not exclude that evidence. However, the officers and commanders involved with the execution of the warrant should be held criminally liable for the improper method used to gather that evidence. That would ensure better adherence to proper and legal warranted searches and seizures procedures.

The biggest atrocity committed here was the "Good Guys" on the Court blessing the jack-booted thuggish techniques used by these officers. The "Bad Guys and Gal" on the Court would have done no better by turning this scum bag back upon society. The wrong "crime" was appealed. The prosecution should be trying the officers who botched the warranted search and seizure. This decision does not give the police more power. It excuses their improper use of it. Accountability is out the window.

Woody

You all need to remember where the real middle is. It is the Constitution. The Constitution is the biggest compromise - the best compromise - ever written. It is where distribution of power and security of the common good meets with the protection of rights, freedom, and personal sovereignty. B.E.Wood

Bartholomew Roberts
June 15, 2006, 11:12 PM
In other words, an unlawful search, unreasonable search, seizure is no longer protected by 4A. The police may now enter your home at any hour on any day, with or without a warrant and if they find something laying around that leads them to suspect that you might have committed a crime, they can now root around anywhere on your property and if they find ANYTHING, you can be arrested. That's the practical effect of this ruling.

What leads you to the conclusion that this is the practical effect of the ruling? Have you read the ruling in whole or in part?

From my reading of the ruling so far, the only thing it says is that if the Fourth Amendment violation was not the proximate cause of finding the evidence in question, then the evidence is not subject to the exclusionary rule. How did you reach your interpretation?

Chris Rhines
June 15, 2006, 11:28 PM
I'm not completely through the decision yet myself, but the issue that I see with it is that it all but eliminates any distinction between a knock/announce warrant and a no-knock warrant. The previous "rule of thumb" was that the police, in possession of a standard search warrant, would knock on the door and announce their presence, then wait a "reasonable" amount of time before breaching the door. Reasonable, to me, would be the time it takes for a person to finish their business in the bathroom, walk to the door, verify that it's really the police outside, and open the door - in other words, 3-5 minutes. If the police are only obligated to wait 3-5 seconds before breaking out the breaching shotguns, then the warrant may as well be a no-knock.

I further agree with the rollback of the 4th amendment protections evidenced by this decision. Now the time to be strengthening 4th amendment protections, not punching holes in them.

- Chris

Otherguy Overby
June 15, 2006, 11:47 PM
I really don't know what you all are worried about. You are not gonna be home for the invasion anyway. You will be stopped and waiting at checkpoints for alcohol, seat belt violations, registration & insurance checks, diesel fuel tax avoidance, a "real ID" check or some other violation of the day.

Sheesh, you are all fools! If we have to let ONE criminal go, we are doomed.

The government is here to help us. What part of that don't you understand?

offthepaper
June 16, 2006, 12:01 AM
Quote from Chris Rhines:
" I further agree with the rollback of the 4th amendment protections evidenced by this decision. Now the time to be strengthening 4th amendment protections, not punching holes in them. "
---------------------------
Yup, the slippery slope just got steeper.:cuss:

mbt2001
June 16, 2006, 12:14 AM
Let me get this straight... The Police knocked, waited a few seconds and then went into the house, wherein they saw the suspect sitting on the couch. They searched the house, found some evidence, arrested the suspect and then he went to jail for his criminal behaviour...

What is the problem?

They caught a bad guy and the bad guy is going to jail. They had a warrant that was signed by a judge. My question is, what do you folks want? When perps walk free you moan. When bad guys get convicted, more moaning.

Jeezzz.

P.S. this wasn't 4th amendment. This wasn't searching someones home with a warrant and then taking that warrant and saying that it ALSO covers the office, when the warrant does not specifically state that the office is covered. Or when the warrant says that they are looking for an M1 tank that blew a hole in someone, but excercise the warrant looking in your cooky jar and finding crack...

4th amendment is designed to protect you from the cops using X-ray goggles and then arresting you for smoking crack, because they happened to see you with their x-ray specs while driving to the donut shop....

MrTuffPaws
June 16, 2006, 12:26 AM
What is the problem?

Uh, I don't know? Maybe allowing a loophole the size of Kansas for police to disregard proceedure and make every warrant a "no knock"?

Oh, and you are right about the 4th. Those founding fathers hated X-ray googles back in 1776, :rolleyes:

mbt2001
June 16, 2006, 12:36 AM
Well tell me Tough Paws, what did unlawful search and seizure mean? It was a prohibition against torture, against holding someone's family hostage, against breaking into someone's house and getting "evidence".

Yeah, we have some different tech than they did, but that right has been expanded more than the founding fathers could have DREAMED, I'm sure.

Now, as to the "breaking down of your door", if you are BREAKING THE BLOODY LAW, then you BLOODY WELL DESERVE your door battered down... That is what is supposed to happen to crooks. If they (cops) did it illegally (breaking door down), then that is what the COURTS are for.

OBVIOUSLY the courts worked in this case. This lousy druggy loser got his day in front of the SUPREME COURT. No one is aurguing that the perp is innocent, just that the police came in to his house TOO quickly and so he should be able to go back home and smoke more crack until the police learn some manners....

What a joke... Standing up for an obviously guilty maroon

Further to that, where in the bloody Bill of Rights does it give a perp the RIGHT to run? It doesn't. The law (unfortunately) is pretty blank on the actual enforcement of it, just that doing something against the law is wrong and punishable... I.E. robbing a bank is punishable by 10 years in prison... It doesn't say that robbing a bank is punishable by a properly executed Knock and announce warranty and a polite takedown AND 10 years in prison....

Jeff
June 16, 2006, 12:52 AM
If they (cops) did it illegally (breaking door down), then that is what the COURTS are for.


If exigent circumstances are to be determined, which could be the case for any unlawful and mistaken no-knock invasion, then the courts will be useless. We do NOT have the courts.

Shield529
June 16, 2006, 01:08 AM
The ranting is amazing.
This ruling had very little to do with no knock warrants. Its like this, the officers did not knock as they were supposed to. The court ruling only states that the Exclusionary rule did not apply because it would have been discovered anyway.

An example. You get pulled over for speeding. Being a tin foil hat kinda guy you get out of the car with your paperwork, lock the doors, and tell the officer he cannot search your car and you will not speak. Officer finds this odd and puts you in his car and searches you and yours. Officer finds your brick of coke in the backseat. Five minutes later he finds out your license is suspended and the vehicle is being impounded.
What you have is an illegal search. You can sue the dept, officer, and everyone else. The officer will most likely be fired or suspended, and could even be federally prosecuted for civil rights violations. You on the other hand could still be convicted. Why because the officer would have performed a complete inventory of the vehicle before impound, the discovery of the drugs was inevitable and could still be admitted.

All this ruling is saying is that even though the officers were wrong the drugs would have been found anyway so the guy is still guilty. The officer still are going to end up with their backend in a sling. Media latched on to a headline that’s all.
Some times the tin foil shines to brightly here :banghead:

MechAg94
June 16, 2006, 01:14 AM
Actually, torture falls under the "cruel and unusual punishment" part. :)

It doesn't matter if the guy was guilty or not. We are not complaining about this to defend him, we are doing so because this might lead to similar violations against others who might be innocent. There may be other unintended consequences that leave innocent people dead or with lives wrecked.

What if the cops get it wrong and break in on a guy who has done nothing? What if he thinks he is being robbed and pulls out his gun and ends up dead when the SWAT kills him (for officer safety)? What happens when the police raid the wrong house? It has happened a number of times. There was an article here recently about a guy who was finally found not guilty after killing an officer who mistakenly broke into his house on a no-knock. He didn't die but his life is effectively destroyed and he has to start over. There have also been examples posted of criminals posing as SWAT and breaking into houses.

However, my main beef is with no-knock warrants in general. In this case, the SC wouldn't let the guy off on a technicality. I guess I can appreciate that intention.

Fletchette
June 16, 2006, 02:20 AM
Why do the police have to enter immediately any way? If it is illegal drugs and weapons their after the police could take all day to enter. You can't flush an AK-47 down the toilet and a real drug dealer would have too much drugs to flush also. Why do the police feel it is necessary to barge in quickly at all?

Al Norris
June 16, 2006, 02:27 AM
Knock-and-announce is part and parcel of serving a warrant. Without that, the entry into the home becomes an unlawful entry and any evidence seized becomes tainted, from that unlawful entry, and is suppressed.

At least since Weeks (1914) at the federal level and Mapp (1961) at the state level, that has been the law until now. In fact, Justice Breyer lists 41 major 4th amendment cases to document this. And what does the majority list? 4 cases, selectively reviewed and taken out of context. A context that Breyer put back in!

Since the signing of the Magna Carta, knock and announce has been the common law. Semayne's Case (1603), the Court of King's Bench explained, "the law [...] abhors the destruction or breaking of any house (which is for the habitation and safety of man) by which great damage and inconvenience might ensue to the party, when no default is in him." So it appears that part of the reason for knock-and-announce is for the prevention of destruction of private property! Researching this further reveals that the sanctity of the home and hearth were such, that the King's men would knock, announce themselves, their purpose and their authority. They were permitted entry if denied and upon warrant of the King, if no one was at home.

If there is no remedy for police/prosecutorial abuse, then what is to prevent the abuse? The exclusion of evidence is the only deterrent that works. This was pointed out in Mapp. Criminal and civil remedies did not work then, and they don't work now.

And to clear things up, at the trial court, the police said they announced, waited a few seconds and went in. The defense insisted there was no knock and no announcement. What was never contested was that the entry was unlawful. Should have been a slam-dunk. Unlawful entry results in an unlawful search. That's what the law was up till now.

What the State is saying is that IF the entry had been lawful, then the search would have been also. Irrelevent! Would have, could have, If, Might have, all mean nothing. It is what actually happened, that matters... Well, used to matter.

xd9fan
June 16, 2006, 02:50 AM
But if someone really did kick my door down with no warning, I'd shoot first and ask questions later. That's a really good way to get cops killed, not to mention homeowners.

More dead cops, more dead citizens, and more infringements on our rights.



yeah this is just a bad decision all the way around.


I really don't know what you all are worried about. You are not gonna be home for the invasion anyway. You will be stopped and waiting at checkpoints for alcohol, seat belt violations, registration & insurance checks, diesel fuel tax avoidance, a "real ID" check or some other violation of the day.

Sheesh, you are all fools! If we have to let ONE criminal go, we are doomed.

The government is here to help us. What part of that don't you understand?

(never understood the constituionality of checkpoints. Last I read was if they do it structured like every fifth car is stopped then its ok. IMHO the structure system has nothing to do with it still being bad law. It only tells me that if the bad law is applied to every fifth car its somehow fair and equal......which now makes it OK??!!)

Don't Tread On Me
June 16, 2006, 02:51 AM
I don't really think it matters. Most people here are complaining about the after-effect, when they should be complaining about the cause.

Easy to get, and vague search warrants.

They hand them out way too easy. Once a search warrant has been put out for a particular location, knock or no-knock, you have ZERO privacy protections at that point. What is the difference if they break your door or not? They will get inside no matter what - it is just a matter of time.


Note: I am completely against no-knock warrants. The inventors and champions of the no-knock were the Nazis (oh no, there goes godwin's law!) This will complicate issues. What if their identification is not made clearly and you shoot at them? Now they have a ruling saying waht they were doing is OK. And you will NEVER EVER EVER win in court trying to convince them that you didn't hear them say they were police. What happens when criminals say they are police before they break into your home? In court, you are already at a massive disadvantage as the courts heavily favor the authorities.

This is barbarism, and is why our nation is headed for collapse.

Now that it has been ruled that no-knocks are ok, and for virtually ALL circumstances (yes, that is what it basically amounts to) police will ABSOLUTELY, positively abuse this ruling. No question about it. They will find an excuse or justification to no-knock nearly 100% of search warrants, because it can be argued that danger looms behind that door. The danger of the unknown is a threat on every single search to the officers and the element of surprise is critical for their safety.


See, those arguing in favor of liberty have been arguing from a position of weakness. You've lost the debate when you complain about searching procedures, when the debate should really be about what constitutes probable cause. In our rat-fink society, with an ultra-suspicious government and overbearing police establishment - people are presumed guilty until proven innocent. That's a fact.


Really, it is all silly. We're sitting here complaining about a no-knock ruling when the government got off scott free for Waco and all the other abuses..let's not forget about the patriot act etc. It's like complaining that your foot got stepped on while you were being beaten to within an inch of death.

Zen21Tao
June 16, 2006, 03:02 AM
Wow so many tinfoil hatters are come out of the woodworks that one would think every indoor pot plant in the nation was in danger of being discovered. Has anyone here actually read the ruling itself not just the main stream media’s reporting on the verdict?

http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/05pdf/04-1360.pdf

The Supremes were charged with determining “whether violation of the “knock-and-announce” rule requires the suppression of all evidence found in the search.”

For those worried about Stare Decisis, I say worry not. No previous case actually ruled on whether or not violation of a “knock and announcement” warrant was grounds for suppression of evidence. Again this is specifically what the justices were charged with ruling on. Scalia does however continually cite relative past cases in which the exclusionary rule was exercised to demonstrate that past justices have found suppression of evidence under the exclusionary rule hard to justify.


As for this quote the media contributes to Scalia “[w]hether that preliminary misstep had occurred or not, the police would have executed the warrant they had obtained, and would have discovered the gun and drugs inside the house,” this quote is being taken grossly out of context.

Read the ruling and see that Scalia is referencing a past case (Segura v. United States) saying that a violation of the 4th Amendment in which that violation is “but for” the cause of obtaining evidence is a necessary not sufficient premise for exclusion. In the above quote Scalia is logically demonstrating that the case they are ruling does not qualify as a “but for cause” type of case. In other words, the quote the media uses as Scalia’s reason for allowing a constitutional violation is actually in fact a logical reason for disqualifying exclusion under one type of constitutional violation.


Again, this ruling DOES NOT turn “knock and announce” warrants into “no-knock” warrants. In fact this ruling doesn’t even remove the knock requirement of “knock and announce” warrants. What this ruling does is say that when an announcement has been made and time has been allowed for a response to the announcement, the failure to actually physical strike ones hand against a door in the commission of a “knock and announce” warrant isn’t sufficient on its own to allow the suppression of evidence under the exclusionary rule.

insurgent
June 16, 2006, 03:24 AM
From this:
(from WILSON V. ARKANSAS 1995, a similar case. Second two quotes are the justices quoting framer-era sources.)

At the time of the framing, the common law of search and seizure recognized a law enforcement officer's authority to break open the doors of a dwelling, but generally indicated that he first ought to announce his presence and authority. In this case, we hold that this common-law "knock and announce" principle forms a part of the reasonableness inquiry under the Fourth Amendment
"But before he breaks it, he ought to signify the cause of his coming, and to make request to open doors, for the law without a default in the owner abhors the destruction or breaking of any house (which is for the habitation and safety of man) by which great damage and inconvenience might ensue to the party, when no default is in him; for perhaps he did not know of the process, of
which, if he had notice, it is to be presumed that he would obey it . . . ."
"the officer may break open the door, if he be sure the offender is there, if after acquainting them of the business, and demanding the prisoner, he refuses to open the door."

To This:
"We do bang on the door and make an announcement—'It's the police'—but it kind of runs together. If you're sitting on the couch, it would be difficult to get to the door before they knock it down." Assistant police chief of El Monte, Calif., explained his department's preferred procedure to the Los Angeles Times (after his SWAT team whacked an innocent guy). Take from this Cato article: http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=6344
Very relevant to this latest ruling btw.

So much for "the law holds that it is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer." Blackstone (1753-1765)

edit: Damn. Didn't get this in before Godwin's law was invoked making my post irrelevant!
edit2: Double-Damn. The dissenting opinion referenced the same quotes *and* the internet Cato article! I shoulda been a justice! :o

Jeff White
June 16, 2006, 04:37 AM
Don't Tread On Me said,

I don't really think it matters. Most people here are complaining about the after-effect, when they should be complaining about the cause.

Easy to get, and vague search warrants.

They hand them out way too easy.

How many search warrants have you personally applied for? What experience have you had dealing with a judge to get one signed? What police department or states attorney's office did or do you work for? Feel free to PM me the information if you don't wish to post it on a public forum.

Once a search warrant has been put out for a particular location, knock or no-knock, you have ZERO privacy protections at that point. What is the difference if they break your door or not? They will get inside no matter what - it is just a matter of time.

So you're against the entire concept of a search warrant? The state should never be able to enter your home no matter how compelling the evidence is against you?

Jeff

bowline
June 16, 2006, 05:52 AM
I am not a lawyer.
I'm willing to wager that many police officers who hear the 'Nightly News' summary of the decision aren't lawyers, and will use their distorted understanding of the ruling when making judgement calls.
I'll go out on a limb and suggest that a large percentage of police chiefs and county sheriffs aren't lawyers either, and will use their distorted understanding of the ruling when training their officers.
I'll even hazard a guess that many attorneys are BAD attorneys, who will apply their distorted understanding of the ruling in court.
I do know that way too many people have been shot, crippled or killed because officers executed a no-knock at the wrong address.
I believe this ruling has introduced ambiguities into an area of law enforcement tactics that happens to kill innocent people as a by-product.
As far as I know, the biggest reason for executing 'knock and announce' warrants correctly was the fact that failure to do so meant your case had a very good chance of being tossed out.
Perhaps 'no-knock' warrants were hard to obtain previously. At this point, the difference between 'no-knock' and 'knock and announce' is in danger of becoming vanishingly thin - a judgement call, if you will, of the officer at the door, rather than the judge that signed the warrant.
I believe that one consequence of this ruling is that greater numbers of innocent people will be murdered by the police ( sorry - it isn't an 'accident' when an officer mistakenly shoots someone, just as it wouldn't be an accident if I mistook a family member for a home intruder and shot them). However, these will be settled in civil suits, rather than criminal courtrooms.
A corollary is that more police officers will be killed by homeowners. Not an accident, but in my view a justified shooting when the homeowner has no reason to believe anything other than he is the victim of a home invasion, and no time to do anything but react. However, these will be 'murders'. Any bets?
All things considered, I'd have to say the ruling is a 'Bad Thing'.

Don't Tread On Me
June 16, 2006, 07:37 AM
So you're against the entire concept of a search warrant? The state should never be able to enter your home no matter how compelling the evidence is against you?

Jeff

Jeff, you know I didn't say that, I said:

Note: I am completely against no-knock warrants.

As for search warrants in general, no not against those - how are we suppose to enforce the law without search warrants? Even the founders accepted them as part of normal government/society, thus made protections in the BOR concerning searches.

I made an error in my statement - I am not completely against no-knocks. I am completely against no-knocks being abused.


My worries are based on a slippery-slope perspective. I hope that no-knocks aren't used when there isn't a danger to the officers. That pretty much sums it up. That might offend someone who is in law enforcement, but I'm not saying that as an accusation that LEO's are sharpening their fangs and dreaming every night to find a way to use no-knocks on everyone in some diabolical scheme to dominate the public. Don't think I'm coming from that angle.


Here's my concern. Let's say the police need to raid a crack house. They know there are weapons and violent thugs within. Good. Go for it. What if the police conduct a search on a 90 year old grandma's house, they knock and wait for the old lady to come to the door, then a bullet comes through the door hitting an officer because this grandma decided to snap , or for whatever reason. A single instance of violence or deadly force used against a knock-search, in a situation where law enforcement had no reason to believe there would be violence will create a justification to no-knock every search eventually.


It's a catch-22 in a way. IF they have a search warrant for illegal activity/things that (supposedly, and I'd hope so) have very good probable cause, then why wouldn't you just no-knock it? If you're 99% sure you're raiding a crack house - why would you knock when you KNOW there's a crime happening? That's what I meant by the argument about the certainty of guilt before acting.


It is no different than when an officer approaches a driver they've pulled over. They approach at first from an angle that makes it difficult for the driver to shoot at them. The officer approaches with their one hand near or above their pistol so as to be ready to draw. I have friends who are LEO's. I'm no expert, but I've seen and been shown the procedure they use.


When the police do that, why are they doing it? Because I'm sure that at some point in time, an officer walked up to a car window and got fired on and got hurt or killed by some scumbag. So rather than foolishly take the danger - they automatically assume that there might be a threat - regardless of who they pulled over, and have instituted these technique for readiness and awareness as a procedure.


The use of the taser is another issue. We've read countless articles posted here on THR of police using the taser in ways that many Americans simply believe is not right. Many stories of people being tasered for very simple, non-threatening non-compliance. Whenever something comes out, it is always a useful tool for the violent, threatening people out there. Protects police, protects the person being arrested. But I am certain that at some point, officers had been hurt by what started out as a very non-threatening non-compliance. Like someone who is arguing with them, but in a respectful manner and having it escalate. Thus, in their view (I assume) any form of non-compliance should be understood to mean that the person intends to not comply no matter what - and that the logical sequence dictates that there will be physical activity after the verbal part because after all, how are you suppose to keep on not complying when you see physical force coming? So instead of being caught off guard, you can pre-empt the coming wrestling battle with 50,000 volts.


Basically, I am not blaming police. They have a difficult job to do. I wouldn't want to do it, having to deal with potentially homicidal thugs all the time. Having to see the worst of society, makes anyone fearful of their lives. It is just the nature of law enforcement that leads to turning what was once reserved for violent thugs, into a universal application as a defense mechanism. Because, anyone can potentially be a violent thug. That's why I said "the police are going to absolutely abuse it." I see the potential over use of no-knocks as an abuse, even though LE has a solid justification for wanting to protect their officers. I'll tell you straight up, I absolutely wouldn't want to be the one to kick down a door and enter the unknown on a raid. Talk about rolling the dice.


Now that I've thought about it more - it isn't a matter of police, but rather more so our entire system. We're demanding more of our police, and we're putting them in a difficult to impossible situation - so, obviously they will try and do their best and adapt. Some of these adaptations people don't agree with. There are people who demand that we fight an aggressive war on drugs because our communities are suffering, but then they get pissed off over no-knocks. People or legislators or both cannot have it both ways I guess.

LAK
June 16, 2006, 07:49 AM
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that police armed with a warrant can barge into homes and seize evidence even if they don't knock, a huge government victory that was decided by President Bush's new justices
This is a gross injustice - an oppression - and an absolute folly from a police point of view. In addition to innocent citizens, this BS is going to get alot of cops killed as well.

------------------------------------

http://ussliberty.org
http://ssunitedstates.org

Beren
June 16, 2006, 08:04 AM
So you're against the entire concept of a search warrant? The state should never be able to enter your home no matter how compelling the evidence is against you?

Jeff, here's where I'm coming from on this one:

The police are welcome to search my home with a valid search warrant. However, they should make every reasonable effort to notify me of their intentions and give me an opportunity to validate the warrant. Shouting "Police!" and then knocking my door down after five seconds is a good way to get me shot and killed. This ruling seems to encourage less regard for the property owner.

If I'm asleep, I'm not going to hear "Police!" I'm going to hear a noise that wakes me up. I am then going to hear my door getting forced open. What am I going to do? I am going to reach for a gun, and I am most likely going to get shot.

If I am awake, I'm going to move towards the door in an effort to see who it is. I'm going to say "Coming, just a minute." Hopefully, they'll give me a minute to see that it is the police and not knock down the door down in my face.

cookekdjr
June 16, 2006, 10:55 AM
I don't see why everybody is upset. Over 90% of the folks at THR identify themselves as conservative and Republican. What did you think a Supreme Court, full of conservative, Republican-appointed justices was going to do? Throw out the fruits of the search? Are you kidding me?

Let's make it clear what has happened here:

1. The old rule was, cops could have a "no-knock" provision if they presented sufficient evidence to a neutral magistrate that the provision was necessary for safety.

2. Two new justices were appointed to the Supreme Court. They replace judges who were conservative and Republican, but due to the surge to the right of the GOP, were considered (respectively) moderate and somewhat conservative. Here at THR many would call them "RINO's".

3. With the new justices appointed to the court, the instant case re: no-knocks was actually re-argued. Then, with the new far-right justices appointed, they said, "hey, knock, don't knock, we don't care. You can still use the evidence even if you break the law and don't follow the warrant. The exclusionary rule does not bar the introduction of the fruit of this illegal search. "

4. What does it mean that the exclusionary rule does not bar introduction of the evidence of the illegal search? It means the court is tipping its hand to say "when the police search you illegally, we will still let them use the evidence against you". In other words, don't even bother getting a warrant. Just break in people's houses, take the evidence, and use it in court. Most legal experts, conservative and liberal and in between, have read between the lines to see the exclusionary rule is in real danger.

5. Feal angry? Why? If you voted for Bush you knew this was coming. He said years ago Scalia was his model Supreme Court Justice. This case has Scalia's thumbprint. You asked for it, you got it, now live with the consequences. Maybe your children will vote for a liberal and they can get their rights back. (Yeah, I know the liberals would grab your guns. Maybe. More likely, you'd be limited to 10 rounds in your handgun to shoot the cops who broke into your house by violating the no-knock provision of a warrant, and the evidence of you shooting the law-breakers would be suppressed under a still-intact exclusionary rule, and you'd walk away free for defending your property from un-announced invaders you had no idea were cops. As it is now, the cops can break the law at will without having the evidence suppressed).
Sleep well.
-David

mbt2001
June 16, 2006, 11:00 AM
I think that department policy will still be that cops KNOCK and ANNOUNCE. I agree that there could be mistakes and people could get hurt otherwise. I think that the difference here is that the Court said that a police officer shouldn't have to knock for the evidence to be good. I don't reckon that they are advising against knocking.

kel
June 16, 2006, 11:01 AM
IANAL, but I have read the opinion. This does not change the fact that an illegal search without a warrant will still cause the evidence to be suppress. This does change the fact that an illegal search WITH a warrant will be suppressed.

If the judges issues a knock warrant and it is served as a no knock warrant the evidence will not be suppressed. Scalia will think you are a bad man, but your still going to go to jail. Anyone who thinks that civil suits will do damn thing is living in a fantasy world, make all the tin foil comments you want, but corruption is the norm.

One more time time... THIS DOES NOT CHANGE THE FACT THAT A WARRANT IS STILL NECESSARY, that is coming ;-)

gm
June 16, 2006, 11:44 AM
...another good intentioned thing that can be used against everyone,for any reason- wait till the next bunch of antigun morons gets in office and turns this to their advantage.laugh now if you like,I'm not.


potential for screw-ups? yup...bigtime.
potential for abuse..definatly
corruption anyone?

Ira Aten
June 16, 2006, 11:48 AM
The Supreme Court is supposed to rule if an action is Constitutional, not "advise" the Constitution be followed, but decide at the same time in their ruling that the Constitution can be violated by the Government with no penalty!

This mornings announcement sounded like a joke at first, til I remembered the McCain-Feingold 1st Amendment Voiding act is now "Constitutional."

By failing to announce impeachment proceedings against the Justices voting in support of this idiot ruling the House and Senate are in effect saying:

"Yes, we realize the Constitution establishes the power for Justices in the Federal system to be appointed for life terms only if they maintain "good conduct". And we realize talking out of both sides of their mouths when issuing a ruling could in no way be interpreted by any sane person as acting in "good conduct".

Although they have obviously failed to maintain "good conduct" on the bench and have admitted such in the very ruling, we as a Legislative body rather than fulfill our duty to the country to impeach those Justices who decided in the affirmative while at the same moment make admission they are wrong, have decided to simply allow them to continue on the bench.

We do so in order that these Justices may continue to issue similar rulings until such time as all rights and priviledges of the People of the United States of America have been completley stripped away".


PS: to MBT

With all respect, I noticed you mentioned "department policy" will probably still be to obey the Constitution and at minimum, knock on the door. But this issue is supposed to be decided as to if simply entering into someones home unannounced is either within the scope of power of the government, or if it is not. Next, we will instead of rulings, have "Excuse Slips" issued from SCOTUS. Oh wait, I'm sorry, we have that now.

YellowLab
June 16, 2006, 12:12 PM
Other than playing 'Cops n Robbers' there is only ONE reason why a LEO should EVER break down a door: loss of life (ie BG with aknife gun ready to/has killed).

But the LEO need the adreline rush, they need a new bar story. Its not MACHO enough to cut the power, cut the water, plug the drain lines etc. It only a MANLY COP THING if you put on a ski mask and barg in like you are saving the Virgin Mary from the devil himself.

Its 2006 people. For a few dollars I can get you gear that will SEE THROUGH THE WALLS, LISTEN ON THE CONVERSATION and VIDEO ALL THE ACTIVITY in a house.

If they try and flush the toile? Who cares the waters off. Plus there is no electrical service to use lights/disposals.

Face it... there is but ONE SINGLE REASON to bust in a door... protect life. Everything else can simply wait.... but thats not the manly thing to do, now is it? We can't have CIVIL SERVANTS waiting around respecting the rights of the people....:banghead:

cropcirclewalker
June 16, 2006, 01:12 PM
I wonder what will happen when the cops bust down the door with a warrant (even at the right address) and find nothing. Even if the resident is a criminal.

Does anybody know of or have access to stats like

Search warrant success rates?

Who fixes the door now when they bust down the wrong one? The resident?

Jeff White
June 16, 2006, 01:29 PM
bowline said;
I'm willing to wager that many police officers who hear the 'Nightly News' summary of the decision aren't lawyers, and will use their distorted understanding of the ruling when making judgement calls.

It doesn't work like that at all. If this decision was one that would cause the police to change the way they operate, which it isn't, guidance would be issued by lawyers, either the department's own legal department or the local states attorney if the department doesn't have a legal department.

Just because there are members of THR who won't read the decision or listen to those who have read it because it would be inconvenient and might bust any preconceived notions of what it really means based on their world view, doesn't mean that everyone is like that.

I don't think that this decision will change the way any police department operates.

Jeff

Zen21Tao
June 16, 2006, 01:39 PM
I wonder what will happen when the cops bust down the door with a warrant (even at the right address) and find nothing. Even if the resident is a criminal.

Does anybody know of or have access to stats like

Search warrant success rates?

Who fixes the door now when they bust down the wrong one? The resident?

Again, the court rule has absolutely nothing to do with such a situation. The case was not on whether or not it is permissable for police officers serving a warrent to violate the terms of a "knock and announce" warrent. The court was charged with determining whether or not evidence obtained when a "knock and announce" warrent is violated can be suppressed under the exclusionary rule.

Also there is a distinction made in which the violation of the warrent is done for the purposes of obtaining evidence that could otherwise be destroyed if the warrent was served correctly. The case heard was not such a case so it doesn't eliminate suppression in these "but for cause" type violations.

Most of the responses in this thread are based on taking media analysis of a court decesion as correct rather than actually reading the 50+ page court ruling themselves. This is exactly the same thing we criticize lefties for going with guns and the media.

Shield529
June 16, 2006, 01:42 PM
Search warrant success rates in this area are at roughly 90% right now. I cannot speak for other areas. To get a drug warrant here is very difficult. So many buys, personal observations, ETC. it takes a long time and must have excellent PC.
If the wrong door get broken down, (which happens no where near as often as you think), the police deptartment buys the new door and makes all repairs.
Most the people ranting and raving have no idea what goes into a warrant, why a no-knock is selected, and what kind of people we are dealing with. They lving behind a computer in a lilly white world, angry at the gov. for things that have not and never will happen to them. They are determined cops are out to be "macho", but they will be the first one throwing a fit when a drug den comes into thier area and their kids cannot play outside and they get broke into twice a week. They have never bothered to do a ride along with an officer to see what we do, maybe attend a citizens academy, or hell go out on a limb and become a reserve officer many people do and gain alot of sway in a few years.
The ranting comes from knowing and listening to one side + ignorance.

cookekdjr
June 16, 2006, 01:42 PM
I don't think that this decision will change the way any police department operates.

It certainly will. But that's not the big deal here. The big deal here is that Scalia and co have signaled the end of the exclusionary rule. If that happens, the primary enforcement mechanism for regulating warrantless and other illegal searches will disappear.
What good is a Constitution without enforcement?
Look, I usually deride Motions to Suppress as "Motions to Hide the Truth". I fight them all the time, and most of them are frivilous or questionable at best.
But I don't want to live in a world without them, because they are the only thing that prevents us from living in a police state.
And that comes from a career prosecutor.
I've got to get ready for trial now, or I'd expand on this some more. But the Supreme's Court decision here, while saving the prosecution of one case, carrys serious and far-reaching consequences to everybody's liberty.
-David

Carl N. Brown
June 16, 2006, 02:04 PM
I don't think that this decision will change the way any police department operates.

Agreed.

This decision does NOT authorise no-knock raids in the sense of
enter without knocking or announcing. This decision does NOT
authorize a warantless search.

This decision does not exclude evidence obtained in a search with a
warrant served in an announce-then enter without knocking.
However, it does mention the possibility of a civil suit as a remedy.

Quite frankly, most departemnts fear a civil suit more than they fear
the exclusion of evidence over a technicality.

Most departments will knock-announce-then enter as in the past
because it is the best and safest way to operate with the
general run of searches.

It does appear that public confidence would have been better
served if the evidence had been excluded because the searchers
did not observe protocol.

I predict this issue will be revisited.

kel
June 16, 2006, 02:06 PM
http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/0330044pot6.html

What are people talking about when it comes to civil liability? What liability do police have when they screw up and there is no physical damage?

Biker
June 16, 2006, 02:08 PM
In your opinion(s), does this ruling have potential for future abuse?

Biker

NineseveN
June 16, 2006, 02:33 PM
It's frightening that we have LEO's and other folks on this board that find it okay that the Supremes just ruled that an illegal search (if the warrant says you have to knock, not knocking is not holding to the scope of that warrant, thus it is an illegal search) does not disqualify the evidence found through that search. There is no more "poison fruit' standard or exclusionary rule in this type of search, and that sets a dangerous precedent...how long until it expands to all types of searches?

I said this would happen within the last year (on this very board I believe), and I was ridiculed and called a cop-hater and tin-foil-hatter because of it. Whatever. Go ahead, call me names now. Did anyone mention "Jack-Booted Thugs" yet?

There, I did.


:cuss:

cropcirclewalker
June 16, 2006, 02:39 PM
Thanks Mr. Shield for your response to my question. It appears that your area may have judges inclined to require extremely sufficient PC to hand out warrants. That's good.

I yam sure there are other areas where that is not the case. .gov keeps lots of stastistics about crime. I just wondered it search warrant success rates was one of them. Maybe a fed.gov type would know.

Where is Mr. DMF when we need him?

Mr. Zen21Tao, I didn't mean to set you off. I wasn't ranting or calling people lefties but I don't have time or inclination to read 50 pages. I remember from the reports that one or more of the supremes had said that there were other strokes that could be made besides suppression of evidence.

That sort of made me wonder what strokes got made when there was NO evidence to suppress. You know, like the kickee was innocent.

Sorry, I didn't mean to set you off.

Gordon Fink
June 16, 2006, 02:39 PM
As some have asked, why is this a big deal? It’s no big deal at all, but it’s “no big deal” preceded by many other “no big deals” and sure to be followed by many more “no big deals.” :(

~G. Fink

Sam Adams
June 16, 2006, 03:23 PM
I understand the need to give the police tools to apprehend those people who are truly dangerous to society. I am very pro-police, very pro-law and order ("and" being emphasized because order without law is simply tyranny). I know that the vast majority of police are good and decent people trying to protect the rest of us from the few who would harm us, and that most of the time they are doing the right thing.

But.

Mistakes are also made. Unintentional mistakes like a miscommunication about which address to serve the warrant on, mistakes like believing an informant (including a former or soon-to-be-former spouse, some of whom are extremely vindictive, or some street punk who's out to save his own skin by giving up a name), etc. So some innocent people have their doors broken in and are terrorized or injured/killed by mistake.

There is also a tendency (at least as it appears to this observer) among most governmental agencies on all levels, including law enforcement, that everyone accused of a crime is: a) guilty and b) dangerous and just itching to hurt someone. So many warrants are served with much more force than necessary.

The average person is intimidated by this, and is also pretty much conditioned to obey anybody wearing a uniform and saying "Police - Open up!" or words to that effect. IOW, people are generally compliant.

You also have many criminals who know this and take advantage of this - they'll dress up like the police, knock on doors very aggressively and demand that the homeowner open up for "the police." The result is that the door is opened up voluntarily for a home invasion.

Many people know this, and are prepared to resist it.

Combine this fear with the attitude on the part of many in government that anyone charged is guilty and dangerous, and you have a recipe for disaster. This ruling only makes it worse - even if it is only perceived as being worse from a legal perspective. You will now have many more people out there who are afraid of a home invader masquerading as a police officer, knowing that the door could be busted down after 3 seconds. How many police and innocent civilians will die or be grievously injured because of this?

I had an incident several weeks ago...the wife and I were having a bad argument, and she decided to call 911 on me for no apparent reason (except to annoy me by having a threat to my ability to own a gun on record). I was doing NOTHING to threaten her in any way - she was actually the one yelling and carrying on, and I was purposely calm to try to defuse the situation. Anyhow, I hung up the phone as soon as she dialed. 15 minutes later, after she had settled down, there was a completely unexpected knock on the door (this, at around midnight or 12:30 AM). I didn't connect her cut-off call with the knock, and neither did she, so I grabbed my snubbie (which she very obviously approved of) and went downstairs with it in hand behind my back. As soon as I saw it was an officer, I pocketed the gun. As it turned out, the knock was made by a very polite officer who stayed on the porch until he was invited in, and the matter was settled in a few minutes with nothing happening. I shudder to think, however, what would have happened if the officer had been knocking aggressively and then broke down the door, or if he had seen my firearm - but someone probably would've gotten shot. I'd either be dead or in jail, and either his or my kids (or both) would likely be fatherless. Yeah, I know that there was no warrant involved, but that's what a mistake in address can do to me or to someone else. You see, I didn't expect the visit by the officer, anymore than someone who's served a mistaken warrant would.

Someone breaking down my door at 0'Dark :30 means "Home Invasion!" to me, no matter what the people doing so say or what they are wearing, since I don't do anything worse than going a bit faster than the posted limit, and it will result in an aggressive defense of my family, myself and my home. This ruling only makes such break-ins more likely, and can only result in more tragedies.

As for the slope we're on in this country, it is slippery and steep - and this decision just added an oil slick on top of the Teflon surface of that slope.

Werewolf
June 16, 2006, 03:29 PM
I just got through reading the entire ruling. The impact is not the end of the world as I'd originally believed based on news reports and postings here but IMO it is still pretty bad.

Two things about the ruling struck me the most. The exlusionary rule is probably dead and the reasons the court gave for why.

The court repeatedly referenced why the knock and announce (K&A) rule exists and its importance. Why the rule - it prevents potential violence to all parties involved in a search warrant, it prevents potential property damage and it maintains as much as possible the dignity of the residents of the domicile being searched.

In the case in question since none of the factors were extant that the K&A rule exists for the court believed it had to weigh the benefit to society of either letting the drug dealer go or essentially severely limiting the scope of the exclusionary rule.

The court ruled on the side of government - err - society. The cops erred but in the courts opinion the benefit to society of not punishing that error far outweighed excluding the evidence acquired and thus releasing a dangerous criminal. The result As the court pointed out is that the disincentives for violating the K&A rule have been attrited and the only remedy when the rule is violated by agents of the state is a civil one. The current crop of justices seem to be able to live with that.

IMO what they've forgotten is that Freedom isn't Free. There is always a price to pay and sometimes that price is steep - even to the point of allowing the guilty to go free if that is what it takes to assure the rights of others.

The power of the state grew just a bit more yesterday. Bit by bit the rights our forefathers died to secure are being chipped away. I for one am glad that I won't be around on the day that we have no rights left. I cry for my grandchildren though because they will live to see that day come.

GTSteve03
June 16, 2006, 03:31 PM
Just because there are members of THR who won't read the decision or listen to those who have read it because it would be inconvenient and might bust any preconceived notions of what it really means based on their world view, doesn't mean that everyone is like that.

So Jeff, when are you going to get around to replying to my original post regarding the 1995 SCOTUS decision?

roo_ster
June 16, 2006, 05:18 PM
A Little No-Knock Humor (http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=ODE3ZjhmMWQ0Y2JiOThhNTk0Y2M0NjE0ZWE5ZjVhODk=)
Knock, Knock
—-Who's there?

—SCOTUS.

—SCOTUS who?

—'S got us cleaning and checking our bedside-table handguns.

Or possibly:

—Knock, knock.

—Who's there?

—SWAT

—SWAT who?

—'S what you're hiding that counts, not how we entered.

Jeff White
June 16, 2006, 06:04 PM
GTSteve03 said;
So Jeff, when are you going to get around to replying to my original post regarding the 1995 SCOTUS decision?

This decision did not in any way shape or form overturn that 1995 decision. Nowhere does it say that you can do an no-nock anytime that you wish. Your question is irrelevant to this discussion.

Have you read the decision? I qualified my original post on this by saying I was basing my take on the decision on news reports, not the actual decision.

You are clearly still basing your opinion on news reports and your own preconceived notions of how things are.

Read the decision and then point me to the part that overturns the 1995 ruling you mention. I'm failing to see it.

cookekdjr,
I must be missing something, but I can't see how anything in this decision is going to change how I do my job. Please explain what you think is going to change.

Jeff

NHBB
June 16, 2006, 06:12 PM
what I find highly disturbing is the increasing rate of home invasions under the guise of law enforcement leading to tragic outcomes. this is like a license for criminals to dress up and get in the house nice and easy under the pretense of being LEO's.

NineseveN
June 16, 2006, 06:12 PM
This decision did not in any way shape or form overturn that 1995 decision. Nowhere does it say that you can do an no-nock anytime that you wish.

According to what I read (and it could be wrong because it's been a long day, so long in fact that I am going to basically copy and paste what I posted elsewhere as I think it gets the job done).

What it does specifically is it kills the exclusionary rule on these types of illegal searches. Basically, it turns any warrant into a "no-knock" warrant if evidence of a crime is discovered. Normally, if all provisions in the warrant (i.e. the police must knock and announce before entry) are not met, the evidence obtained can be (and should be) suppressed because the search would have been prohibited by the 4th Amendment (police must follow the warrant to the letter and can only act within the scope of the warrant, period). In the instance of knock and announce versus no-knock and announce, it doesn't matter if the search is illegal, any evidence discovered is admissible so this basically removes the barriers and protections that were in place via the exclusionary rule.

That doesn't sound like a big deal, but it is. The exclusionary rule was the only mechanism we had to protect us (we the people) from illegal searches, now that there is no penalty for such abuses or mistakes; the common citizen is at an increased risk. Civil lawsuits? Yeah, who pays for those? You're going to sue the components of a system that is going to represent itself within the system that it operates? Good luck...it's also kind of hard to sue if you’re deceased.


<Bashing removed by Art>

Otherguy Overby
June 16, 2006, 06:27 PM
Shield529:

They have never bothered to do a ride along with an officer to see what we do, maybe attend a citizens academy, or hell go out on a limb and become a reserve officer many people do and gain alot of sway in a few years.

So, what county in Arkansas are you in?

If it's close to Baxter county, I'll try a ride along.

Can I carry my concealed weapon?

cookekdjr
June 16, 2006, 06:29 PM
cookekdjr,
I must be missing something, but I can't see how anything in this decision is going to change how I do my job. Please explain what you think is going to change.

Jeff

Jeff, some LEO's in my jurisdiction are already saying that if they don't follow the confines of the warrant provisions, its no big deal, because "nothings going to get excluded anyway".
This may not change how you do your job, but it will affect others. All I'm saying is, if there are no consequences for violating the terms of a search warrant, then many officers will violate the terms. Its human nature.

Jeff White
June 16, 2006, 06:37 PM
NHBB said,
what I find highly disturbing is the increasing rate of home invasions under the guise of law enforcement leading to tragic outcomes. this is like a license for criminals to dress up and get in the house nice and easy under the pretense of being LEO's.

Got some facts to back that assertion up, or are just thinking they are up because of what you read in the forums?

How about an example of one of those home invasions that wasn't done by rival drug dealers on their competition?

NineseveN said,

Normally, if all provisions in the warrant (i.e. the police must knock and announce before entry) are not met, the evidence obtained can be (and should be) suppressed because the search would have been prohibited by the 4th Amendment (police must follow the warrant to the letter and can only act within the scope of the warrant, period).

Have you ever actually seen a search warrant? Do you know what is printed on one? I have never seen a no knock warrant, that's how rare they are around here. But I have yet to see one that spells out the way we must approach the residence either.

I'm sorry but I don't see this as the end of the exclusionary rule.

Jeff

cookekdjr
June 16, 2006, 06:53 PM
btw Jeff, I'm impressed you read Supreme Court opinions. Most LEO's I work with do not (some of the FBI do, but that's about it). Speaking of that, I have a brief to write that's due monday.
Have a good weekend,

David

NineseveN
June 16, 2006, 06:56 PM
<Bashing removed by Art>

You've got to be kidding me. Art, I would have thought you to have a bit more class than that. Your comments make it look like I was bashing Jeff or someone personally, my post as it was contained no attacks, no vulgarities and no insults. I posted some hypothetical dialogue between two hypothetical cops, conversations that do occur within law enforcement. There was a good cop and a not so good cop; though I'd think of the second fellow as more of a stereotypical cop that finds it hard to resist the urge to toss all the useless PC crap aside and get the job done. The second fellow's type may not be cast in the best of light, but in some instances they're absolutely spot on, some of the hoops LEO's have to jump through are patently absurd, inefficient and dangerous, and some of the hoops are necessary for the preservation of the rights and the safety of the citizen. I'm very disappointed not only at the fact that you would take something to such an extreme as to delete it without explaining to me why and what about it would be construed as bashing, but also that you would label my post as contained bashing where it clearly did not. Was the comment required for everyone else’s enjoyment of the thread?

However, having said that, I'll repost what I had in another way, containing the exact same message except not in the form of dialogue because it is very valid observation pertaining to this discussion. If you feel the need to label that bashing as well and delete the post, then THR has become a very sad thing indeed. I meant no offense by what I had posted.


>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>



My understanding of this ruling is that it basically says that the benefits to society of admitting evidence gained from improper searches and seizures into trial outweigh the necessity of the suspect’s rights and liberty via the exclusionary rule.

Jeff White asked what the big deal was (paraphrasing of course), the big deal is that there is really nothing to stop a law enforcement officer or agency from taking the stance that they already know the suspect is guilty (else why would they be there), the suspect might also be dangerous, the suspect might also have time to dispose of important evidence so that for their safety and for the sake of preserving the evidence, they need to move right away and do away with the knock and announce. Their protection in doing this is the ruling we’re discussing because, as long as they find something, what that warrant says doesn’t matter; the benefits to society of admitting evidence gained from improper searches and seizures into trial outweigh the necessity of the suspect’s rights and liberty via the exclusionary rule.


My concern is I’m wondering how long until this moves on into other realms of the exclusionary rule or probable cause? Is there now wiggle room for something like profiling (i.e. suspect looks like a gangbanger or drug dealer) turning into a stop and search without a real demonstration of probable cause? Again, the precedent can be set with a single case using this ruling as a foundation that as long as they find something, the benefits to society of admitting evidence gained from improper searches and seizures into trial outweigh the necessity of the suspect’s rights and liberty via the exclusionary rule.

And then what about confessions? What is to stop an agency or individual from taking the stance that they know the suspect is guilty of murder or rape, and that they need to ‘tune them up’ in order to extract a confession or critical information (i.e. where a missing victim is) because again, the benefits to society of admitting evidence gained from improper searches and seizures into trial outweigh the necessity of the suspect’s rights and liberty via the exclusionary rule. So as long as they find evidence of a crime, the method with which they obtain the evidence is irrelevant.

I realize that whether or not they knock and announce is a far cry from beating a suspect, but I submit that it is so only in severity, it’s still the same mechanism being employed and the same reasoning behind it (unless you suggest that cops used to beat suspects for fun, which I disagree with)…law enforcement officials, agents and agencies do cut corners and bend the boundaries a little bit when they feel they have to in order to do the job in critical situations. That’s a fact of life and a fact of every single profession.

So with the reasoning of: the benefits to society of admitting evidence gained from improper searches and seizures into trial outweigh the necessity of the suspect’s rights, liberty via the exclusionary rule, how far off is something much worse? Because that’s the larger precedent being set into motion with this ruling. You can't fault the individual LEO's, they'd just be acting within the scope of the law and using all of the tools at their disposal, so what's to stop them?

NineseveN
June 16, 2006, 07:13 PM
Jeff, I'll respond to you real quick, but I don't want to get into a back and forth discussion, neither of us likely have the time. Just to clarify:

Have you ever actually seen a search warrant? Do you know what is printed on one? I have never seen a no knock warrant, that's how rare they are around here. But I have yet to see one that spells out the way we must approach the residence either.

I'm sorry but I don't see this as the end of the exclusionary rule.

Jeff

Yes I have, many (search warrants), though not as many as you have I presume. There are different warrants or provisions for both standard (knock) and no-knock searches. If the warrant does not allow a no-knock entry, then one could not be performed unless mitigating circumstances were present and apparent (i.e. gunshots form inside the building etc…though at that point it wouldn’t be considered executing a warrant I suppose). If there isn’t a difference that is stipulated between the two, then there really is no such thing as a warrant that allows a no-knock to occur or not to occur as all warrants would be the same in that scope. This does not seem to be the case.

The comment that you are responding to was not only in reference to knock VS no-knock. The police must obey the scope of the warrant whatever it specifies (i.e. locations to be searched, things to be searched etc…).

Northslope Nimrod
June 16, 2006, 07:21 PM
This case is not really one of expanding No Knock Warrants. This case is "one of remedy," as stated in the opinion.
The intent of the court created "Exclusionary Rule" was to deter illegal behavior by officers. If that deterence is not sufficiently present, should the exclusionary rule still apply? That was the question before the Court. They decided "no."
Officers must still seek "No Knock Search Warrants" by using the usual justifications (safety, destruction of evidence, dangerous criminal). If they don't obey the knock & announce rule, the victim/suspect may sue under a 1983 Civil Rights action for damages. BUT, if he had just murdered the neighbor girl whom he had kidnapped and the bloody knife was still on the counter (her body disposed of long ago), that bloody knife would be admissible and he would be convicted of the murder. The exclusionary rule is too harsh of a remedy in many situations. It would not be "justice" to the victim or her family if the murderer walks simply because an officer didn't wait long enough after knocking. Suspects have their remedy....it just won't be a "get out of jail free card" remedy.
Prosecutors will still advise cops to use the same practice as before.

NO KNOCK WARRANTS: They are not RARE. They are done all the time. Every week in this state a No Knock warrant will be served. If they are distributing drugs....it will likely be a No Knock Warrant and may well be served at night.

Jeff White
June 16, 2006, 07:54 PM
cookekdjr,
Jeff, some LEO's in my jurisdiction are already saying that if they don't follow the confines of the warrant provisions, its no big deal, because "nothings going to get excluded anyway".
This may not change how you do your job, but it will affect others. All I'm saying is, if there are no consequences for violating the terms of a search warrant, then many officers will violate the terms. Its human nature.

As far as I'm concerned those officers need to find another line of work. I November of 2003 the Illinois State Supreme Court made a couple of decisions that had some pretty serious effects on how we were doing our job. One required us to be able to articulate probable cause if we asked for consent to search during a traffic stop. Another required us to have a reasonable belief that other occupants of a vehicle besides the driver were involved in criminal activity befre checking them through the computer system. In God we trust, all others we run through NCIC was no longer legal in Illinois. The third decision greatly limited the circumstances under which we could conduct a K9 sniff on a vehicle stop. That decision has since been ruled too restrictive by the USSC and sent back to the state and the State Supreme Court has since reversed itself bringing the use of K9s back to what it was.

Naturally there was a lot of discussion among the officers when these decisions were announced. I even lost a friend on antoher department after he told me that the state supreme court be damned, he wasn't changing the way he worked and I told him he needed to find another job. But after the initial wailing and knashing of teeth and some very nasty comments about the judiciary, none of which would be able to be posted here, everyone learned to live with the new rules.

I don't agree with the concept of not worrying about making cases and getting drugs and guns off the street. I know that in many urban areas there are units that do just that. Yet no one, not the libertarians and anarchists here at THR, the ACLU or anyone else seems to care about that. I suppose they think it's what has to be done to keep some sort of order in the inner city.

My personal barometer of success is not having to go to court. I want the defense attorney to look at what I did and tell his client there isn't any wiggle room here, better take the plea deal the states attorney is offering you.

Jeff

Bartholomew Roberts
June 16, 2006, 08:01 PM
Key bits from the majority opinion:

"The interests protected by the knock and announce rule are...protection of human life and limb; because an unannounced entry may provoke violence in supposed self defense by a suprised resident. Another interest is protection of property. Breaking a house absent an announcement would penalize someone who did not know of the process of which, if he had notice, it is to be presumed he would obey it. The knock and announce rule gives individuals the opportunity to comply with the law and to avoid the destruction occasioned by forcible entry. And thirdly the knock-and-announce rule protects those elements of privacy and dignity that can be destroyed by a sudden entrance"

"What the knock and announce rule has never protected, however, is one's preventing the government from seeing or taking evidence described in a warrant. Since the interests that were violated in this case have nothing to do with the seizure of evidence, the exclusionary rule is inapplicable."

Regarding civil suit as insufficient deterrence:

"And what other than civil suit is the 'effective deterrent' of police violation of an already confessed suspect's Sixth Amendment rights by denying him prompt access to counsel"

"Congress has authorized attorney fees for civil-rights plaintiffs" cites 42 U.S.C. 1988(b)

The important opinion is Kennedy though because he is the swing vote. Kennedy basically says that not waiting is not a proximate cause of later evidence discovery. He gives the following example: "When a violation results from want of a 20 second pause; but an ensuing lawful search lasting five hours discloses evidence of criminality, the failure to wait at the door cannot properly be described as having caused the discovery of evidence."

Kennedy also implies that he will switch votes if widespread violation becomes a problem - and he certainly left a lot of room in his opinion to do that and is pretty notorious for switching already.

Both Kennedy and majority reinforce that knock and announce is still the law of the land though...

The minority pretty much describes what the law had been up to this point and basically argues that without exclusion of such evidence, police will not follow the law - and they make some good points throughout their 23 pages of dissent.

Seems to me the Court will be revisiting this issue again soon.

Group9
June 16, 2006, 08:27 PM
Nineseven: The exclusionary rule was the only mechanism we had to protect us (we the people) from illegal searches, now that there is no penalty for such abuses or mistakes; the common citizen is at an increased risk. Civil lawsuits? Yeah, who pays for those? You're going to sue the components of a system that is going to represent itself within the system that it operates? Good luck...it's also kind of hard to sue if you’re deceased.

I wouldn't be so quick to bash civil remedies, like a 1986 action or a civil rights violation for violations by law enforcement of your rights. One of the original complaints about the whole idea of the exclusionary rule was that it did little to punish bad cops while rewarding bad people.

You may think that police officers don't care if they are sued in federal court, or investigated for criminal violations of civil rights, but I can assure you that they do. In my experience, the reason a lot of these sensational news reports of police misconduct do not result in these type of actions is that often the complaints are just not true, or if the facts are true, are not actually recognized civil rights violations, regardless of what the accuser's opinon is.

One group of persons does file 1986 actions on a regular basis, however. That group is inmates, who with little else to do, and a lengthy statute of limitations, often decide one day to file a suit instead of watching TV.

The bottom line is that I don't have much sympathy for people who complain about our criminal justice system, but who do not avail themselves of it.

Jeff White
June 16, 2006, 09:51 PM
Bart,
I think what Kennedy had to say here is pretty relevant:
"When a violation results from want of a 20 second pause; but an ensuing lawful search lasting five hours discloses evidence of criminality, the failure to wait at the door cannot properly be described as having caused the discovery of evidence."

We are talking about a mistake that amounted to not waiting for 20 more seconds to meet the standard of knock and announce. There is almost never more then a 30 second wait when serving that type of a warrant. The law doesn't require a wait any longer then that. And that's why I'm fairly certain that this ruling isn't going to change anything. In practical terms entering after announcing after 5 seconds v. entering after announcing and waiting 25 - 30 seconds doesn't mean much. Unless the suspect has the records you seek in your warrant on flash paper or he has his dope all set up to flush he's not going to be able to destroy it in that amount of time.

The officers did not do a no-knock raid, they essentially did a knock and announce without waiting long enough before entering. So I don't see them changing their tactics because of this ruling. It really gives you no more advantage over the badguy then waiting the full 25-30 seconds. Why risk an expensive civil suit or criminal prosecution for violating someone's civil rights just to get a 20 second headstart? If you're that concerned that the evidence will be destroyed if you don't get that 20 seconds, apply for a no knock warrant.

I also don't see this big hole in the exclusionary rule. Lower courts have already admitted evidence that would have been legally found and seized in spite of misconduct or procedural error.

Jeff

TallPine
June 16, 2006, 10:09 PM
How many of ya'll can answer your door in 20 seconds, especially at night?

Saying that "not much has changed" doesn't really make me feel any better.

Bartholomew Roberts
June 16, 2006, 10:33 PM
This is just off the cuff pretty much, but I think the Kennedy decision is more important in other ways too... the majority opinion (the one the newspapers reported) basically says that excluding evidence doesn't serve the purposes of the knock & announce rule and so they aren't going to do it.

Kennedy seems to be saying something different. He seems to be saying that since the lack of waiting made no difference in the evidence discovered, there is no reason for the evidence to be excluded. Since he was the fifth vote (and the swing vote yet again), his opinion has more force than the majority opinion.

It seems to me that the next likely case would be one where the wait did make the difference in the evidence discovered.

Anyone else notice that Michigan made no attempt at all to try and argue that the 3-5 seconds was reasonable under the circumstances? Was there law already on point that makes this an obvious loser argument or was Michigan looking to challenge the exclusionary rule all along?

Jeff White
June 17, 2006, 01:41 AM
Bart,
I really can't think of a case where not waiting the required time on a knock and announce would make any difference then if you had waited. The time you are required to wait is pretty short.

The vast majority of search warrants that aren't drug related are served by officers knocking on the door, waiting an answer and presenting the occupants with the warrant. TV, the movies and the news media have given the public the false impression that everytime a warrant is issued for any reason that a 20 man SWAT team kicks in the doors. Yes some departments use their SWAT teams to serve a lot of warrants, but in most cases where that is done the suspect either has to be believed to be dangerous or there is a great likelyhood that if the building wasn't seized quickly and efficiently the evidence would be destroyed.

SWAT teams cost a lot of money, and since most departments don't have the resources to have officers assigned to that duty full time, it is usually very hard on the overtime budget. That means sometimes they arent used when perhaps they should have been.

There are a great number of warrants issued where the residence or vehicle to be searched has already been seized. Usually that scenario comes down something like this. Officer is dispatched to the location on an unrelated call. Officer notices strong odor of anhydrous ammonia and observes a pile of trash containing stripped lithium batteries and an empty Coleman stove fuel can and coffee filters. There is now probable cause to believe there is a meth lab at that location. Everyone present is taken into custody (just detained at this point) a call is made to the states attorney who fills out the warrant application and gets a judge to sign it. Then the property is searched. The same thing happens when a K9 hits on a vehicle.

I just don't see this decision changing the way we do things now.

Jeff

Biker
June 17, 2006, 01:48 AM
I'd like to repeat my question: can you see this ruling opening the door to future LE abuses of search warrants in any way?

Biker

Jeff White
June 17, 2006, 02:06 AM
Biker,
As I've been trying to say, I don't believe this will open the door to further abuse. I don't believe that a hole you could drive a train through has been blown in the exclusionary rule.

I really believe that if the officers in this case had not announced themselves and simply turned the knock and announce warrant into a no-knock the supremes never would have seen the case because every lower court would have correctly ruled that the evidence was inadmissible.

I think Kennedy's brief pretty much says it all with the statement about 20 seconds being the difference between the entry being good or bad. Bart is right in that we'll have to see how the lower courts rule on a case where the 20 second difference would have kept the evidence from being legally seized anyway. I just don't think that's going to happen.

There have been proposals for legislation to pull the teeth from the exclusionary rule in every republican platform since the 1980s. But the legislation has never gone anywhere in congress. If the exclusionary rule has been gutted, (and I don't believe it has) then the conservatives will have done the same thing they accused the liberals of doing for years, legislating from the bench what they couldn't achieve in congress.

Jeff

Shield529
June 17, 2006, 04:15 AM
No i don't believe this will open the door to abuse. This ruling means very little to the way our work is done. Those officer who have done the wrong thing in the past will continue until caught. The vast majority of us will continue to do things the right way.

I am concerned with misinformation getting to small departments with little or no advanced training. If all the people on the inet are minsunderstanding it as bad as this and other boards then it could be misused unintentionaly.

Bartholomew Roberts
June 17, 2006, 11:01 AM
Bart,
I really can't think of a case where not waiting the required time on a knock and announce would make any difference then if you had waited.

Thanks for explaining the practical side of it. I'm guessing that it is a pretty rare occasion then that the evidence can be disposed of in under 20 seconds? Regardless of whether it makes a practical difference or not, I would be willing to bet a defense lawyer somewhere is racking his brain to figure out how he can argue that it does make a difference.

Zen21Tao
June 17, 2006, 12:13 PM
No i don't believe this will open the door to abuse. This ruling means very little to the way our work is done. Those officer who have done the wrong thing in the past will continue until caught. The vast majority of us will continue to do things the right way.

I am concerned with misinformation getting to small departments with little or no advanced training. If all the people on the inet are minsunderstanding it as bad as this and other boards then it could be misused unintentionaly.


Consider this. Scalia points out that the case being ruled on is not a case of "poisioned fruit" because under the pre-existing "good faith" standard the violation to the terms of the warrent wasn't done to obtain evidence that "not-for" that violation would not have been found. This is a very important point.

The ruling doesn't say that exidence can not be excluede in every violation of a "K&A" warrent only in one's like this case where the violation wasn't to obtain evidence that might otherwise not have been obtained. In other words, the serach was conducted "in good faith."

If officers, in light of this ruling, now take in upon themselves to intentionally violate the terms of a K&A warrant because they think evidence found won't be excluded then the violation is not a "good faith" violation and not subject to this courts ruling. Its a catch 22. This case only applies to searches conducted "in good faith" and any intentional violation isn't a "good faith" search.

baz
June 17, 2006, 05:10 PM
It's frightening that we have LEO's and other folks on this board that find it okay that the Supremes just ruled that an illegal search (if the warrant says you have to knock, not knocking is not holding to the scope of that warrant, thus it is an illegal search) does not disqualify the evidence found through that search. There is no more "poison fruit' standard or exclusionary rule in this type of search, and that sets a dangerous precedent...how long until it expands to all types of searches?


I'd like to see some informed discussion about what remedies exist when LEO's execute a warrant improperly on innocent people. It should be clear, by now, that this decision says nothing about that situation. This decision was about whether the exclusionary rule should apply when a warrant was improperly excuted on someone who was guilty (i.e. the warrant led to incriminating evidence).

There are two distinct interests here: a private interest in being protected against against unreasonable search (aka 4th Amendment), and a public interest in prosecuting those who have broken the law. I don't know about NineseveN, but I know many's the time I've fumed over some report about how somebody "got off on a technicality." OTOH, while he may not believe it, I'm just as concerned as NineseveN is in my constitutional 4th Amendment right being such that I shouldn't have to worry that I'm going to shoot an LEO when I hear a bump in the night.

Is the "exclusionary rule" the only remedy we have to prevent the police from abusing their power with search warrants? I'd appreciate some input in that. Maybe this discussion might calm Biker's concern. What other factors or forces preventing the police from abusing their power with search warrants keep this from another slide down a slippery slope?

Finally, it seems to me that too many of us (judging from this thread) make LEO's out to be the enemy. They are not. They are public servants. That doesn't mean there are not some bad apples in the lot. But if you do not like the way your public servants are comporting themselves, what, lately, have you done about it? We get the government (=public service) we deserve. When we sit around and complain, and don't do anything, then we have no one to blame but ourselves.

Bartholomew Roberts
June 17, 2006, 05:26 PM
Is the "exclusionary rule" the only remedy we have to prevent the police from abusing their power with search warrants? I'd appreciate some input in that. Maybe this discussion might calm Biker's concern. What other factors or forces preventing the police from abusing their power with search warrants keep this from another slide down a slippery slope?

The Court focuses on civil suits as a remedy and if you are an innocent citizen, I would suspect they would be the primary remedy you have since there is no evidence to be excluded.

One reason these cases were often unattractive in the past is that the damages were low when viewed from an attorney's perspective. Even if the client had a clear cut case of civil rights violations, there was unlikely to be enough damages to make it worth his time.

However, federal law makes it where attorney's fees can be recovered in civil rights violation cases. This makes it more attractive for the local lawyer to go after your police department even though the only damages are what it cost to replace the door. Under this law, an attorney can pursue cases where his fees would easily exceed the damages involved.

The majority here places a lot of emphasis on civil suits as a viable remedy.

Jeff White
June 17, 2006, 05:43 PM
baz said;
I'd like to see some informed discussion about what remedies exist when LEO's execute a warrant improperly on innocent people. It should be clear, by now, that this decision says nothing about that situation. This decision was about whether the exclusionary rule should apply when a warrant was improperly excuted on someone who was guilty (i.e. the warrant led to incriminating evidence).

There is no requirement that a warrant be issued only on the guilty. The purpose of the warrant is to further the investigation by looking for evidence of a crime. The police only apply for the warrant. In the application they must prove that there is a very good possibilty that the evidence is in fact in the place or vehicle to be searched. They have to specify exactly what they expect to find. They have to spell out why they have reason to believe the evidence is there. In most cases this amounts to a statement from someone who has actually seen the evidence at the location within the last few hours. They will often have to explain why they believe the evidence is still there.

The judge then looks the application over and decides if they have sufficiently proven that there is a great likelyhood that the evidence will be found there before he will issue the warrant. One time I had to take a source before the judge so he could question her himself. We had asked that her name be left out of the supporting documents for the warrant (the defendent usually gets these documents through discovery and then they know who ratted them out) because she was 15 years old. The judge said, bring her in, I want to talk to her myself and see how her story sounds to me. So I drove her to the town the judge lived in, he met us at city hall there and spoke to the girl..then he signed the warrant. Yes, just like everything else that people are involved with, there are mistakes made and misconduct. But in most cases it's not a simple process to get a warrant.

But with all that, there is no guarantee that a warrant won't be issued to search the residence of an innocent person. And if the system did everything right, that person has almost no recourse. His rights haven't been violated because the system did it's job, it just somehow targeted the wrong person.


There still are civil and criminal remedies available if there is misconduct. The FBI investigates civil rights violations and the US Attorney prosecutes them. You can also seek damages from the department. Those remedies have always been available.

Jeff

TallPine
June 17, 2006, 06:05 PM
But with all that, there is no guarantee that a warrant won't be issued to search the residence of an innocent person. And if the system did everything right, that person has almost no recourse. His rights haven't been violated because the system did it's job, it just somehow targeted the wrong person.
I have no problem with that (well, it would be kind of an inconvenience and un-nerving for an innocent person) if they knock and show me the warrant, etc. I do have a problem if they bust down the door and kill my dog (because he naturally attacked people breaking into the house), and maybe kill me too ...:(

Like right now I am in the back room at my desk - I doubt I could even stand up in 3-5 seconds, let alone get to the door. At night, well - it could take me several minutes to wake up, get dressed, pick up a gun, and go down the stairs (my knees are not so good anymore) and answer the door.

My suggestion is to have your red&blues flashing and lighting up the whole hillside behind my house. Or the county dispatcher could just page me ;)

Ryder
June 17, 2006, 06:32 PM
How many of ya'll can answer your door in 20 seconds, especially at night?


Not me but I shout out the bedroom window pretty fast and they hear me. I've had them wait at the door while I got dressed in the past. They sure do have inconvenient timing. :p

NineseveN
June 18, 2006, 01:07 AM
I don't know about NineseveN, but I know many's the time I've fumed over some report about how somebody "got off on a technicality."

Nope, I don't like that at all, but I don't blame the police or even the system for it. Our rights are designed with the premise that it is better to let a guilty person go free than it is to infringe on the rights of the innocent citizens of this republic. The more we shift away from that, the more we shift away from America. You can't have it both ways (though I am sure we'd all like to); and while their intentions are good, those that seek to increase or uphold any measure that claims "no harm no foul" when it comes to infringing on the rights of the innocent all in the name of the pursuit of justice and judging the guilty are hurting more than they'd be able to honestly admit.


OTOH, while he may not believe it, I'm just as concerned as NineseveN is in my constitutional 4th Amendment right being such that I shouldn't have to worry that I'm going to shoot an LEO when I hear a bump in the night.

And who wants to do that? Certainly no law-abiding citizen, certainly no responsible member of this country, certainly not I, nor most folks on this board (I wish I could say none of us), but things like no-knock warrants and the attitude that "if you did nothing wrong you have nothing to hide" creates an even larger divide inside the chasm that already exists between law enforcement and the rest of us. I want the officers to be safe and be provided the tools that help them accomplish the tasks society asks of them, but never at even the remote possibility of the expense of my life or liberty. If they were to come through my door, tragedy either way you look at it. Nobody wants that, nobody that respects life and liberty. I’ve got close personal friends busting through those doors, I don’t want to see them on the news any more than I want to see their actions wrongly cause the death of someone else (or myself).

It's easy to sit on the sidelines and poke fun at people who hold concerns for what might happen. It's no difficult task to take the route of the pragmatic and say 'I don't think this power or that power will be abused", the mere existence of the chance for it to be abused is enough to warrant concern. If even one no-knock warrant resulted in the death of an innocent person (or even in the death of criminal*), that would be one too many. It has happened, and I simply don't take as casual of an attitude towards it as some folks do.


*i.e. if a no-knock is performed on a bona-fide criminal, but the severity of the charge does not justify such extreme measures, if the warrant was executed improperly and resulted in the death of the suspect or if a no-knock warrant was granted where the evidence did not truly justify it.

LAK
June 18, 2006, 03:40 AM
Shield529If the wrong door get broken down, (which happens no where near as often as you think), the police deptartment buys the new door and makes all repairs.
And what do the department do in cases where an innocent party - be it a mistaken address mishap or another who happens to be at the wrong place at the right time - gets killed beacuse they reacted as any responsible citizen should to what is perceived as a criminal home invasion?
Most the people ranting and raving have no idea what goes into a warrant, why a no-knock is selected, and what kind of people we are dealing with. They lving behind a computer in a lilly white world, angry at the gov. for things that have not and never will happen to them.
The issue is not just about warrants; it is about the position of vulnerability it places other citizens in this country. Not only because once in awhile there is a mixup with the address involved; but more so because of the number of home invasions with brutal thugs passing themselves off as the entry team members of a PD or other agency.

The net result being that people in this country are expected to prostrate themselves in order to let the public servants do their job, and risk likewise prostrating themselves before the perpetrators of what are often fatal or horrific ordeals. All in order that one of the so-called (and perpetual) "wars" may continue.

On the subject of warrants; if the witnessing of "buys" - criminal acts - are one of the key elements in obtaining a search warrant, it must be assumed that the "buy(s)" would be substantiated in themselves to a degree amounting to probable cause. That is sufficient basis, following the usual steps, for an arrest in itself. So why not arrest them at the time the buy is claimed to be observed?

-------------------------------------

http://ussliberty.org
http://ssunitedstates.org

Michael Courtney
June 18, 2006, 09:02 AM
Is the "exclusionary rule" the only remedy we have to prevent the police from abusing their power with search warrants? I'd appreciate some input in that. Maybe this discussion might calm Biker's concern. What other factors or forces preventing the police from abusing their power with search warrants keep this from another slide down a slippery slope?

When an illegal search is being conducted, the folks involved are clearly acting outside the scope of their duties. In other words, they are nothing more than armed thugs invading your home.

Since they are not acting in line with the law, it might be reasonable to conclude that they are not really government agents, in spite of whatever attempts they have made to identify themselves as such.

So what you've got is a bunch of armed thugs pretending to be cops, invading your home, and taking whatever they want. It would be legal to respond as a reasonable man as allowed by the laws of your state.


Michael Courtney

baz
June 18, 2006, 10:18 AM
There is no requirement that a warrant be issued only on the guilty. The purpose of the warrant is to further the investigation by looking for evidence of a crime.

I understand this. But I was speaking, accomodatively, of situations where, on the one hand, no evidence of a crime is found (i.e. the suspect is presumably innocent), and on the other hand where evidence of a crime is found (i.e. the suspect is presumably guilty).

So the main remedy against an unlawful intrusion into one's home is a civil suit. Somehow, that doesn't seem right. Well, you do also mention criminal charges. Are those limited to Federal civil rights charges? Why, I wonder, are there not state statues here? Or, maybe there are?

Jeff White
June 18, 2006, 04:59 PM
Michael Courtney said;
When an illegal search is being conducted, the folks involved are clearly acting outside the scope of their duties. In other words, they are nothing more than armed thugs invading your home.

Since they are not acting in line with the law, it might be reasonable to conclude that they are not really government agents, in spite of whatever attempts they have made to identify themselves as such.

So what you've got is a bunch of armed thugs pretending to be cops, invading your home, and taking whatever they want. It would be legal to respond as a reasonable man as allowed by the laws of your state.

We don't advocate breaking the law on this forum. You have either none or very limited legal rights to resist the police almost everywhere in the US. Most states have a law similar to this one on the books:
http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=072000050HArt%2E+7&ActID=1876&ChapAct=720%26nbsp%3BILCS%26nbsp%3B5%2F&ChapterID=53&ChapterName=CRIMINAL+OFFENSES&SectionID=60595&SeqStart=7800000&SeqEnd=9300000&ActName=Criminal+Code+of+1961%2E
(720 ILCS 5/7‑7) (from Ch. 38, par. 7‑7)
Sec. 7‑7. Private person's use of force in resisting arrest. A person is not authorized to use force to resist an arrest which he knows is being made either by a peace officer or by a private person summoned and directed by a peace officer to make the arrest, even if he believes that the arrest is unlawful and the arrest in fact is unlawful.
(Source: P.A. 86‑1475.)

Then of course we get into the statutes on OBSTRUCTION.
http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=072000050HArt%2E+31&ActID=1876&ChapAct=720%26nbsp%3BILCS%26nbsp%3B5%2F&ChapterID=53&ChapterName=CRIMINAL+OFFENSES&SectionID=60778&SeqStart=58900000&SeqEnd=59900000&ActName=Criminal+Code+of+1961%2E
(720 ILCS 5/Art. 31 heading)
ARTICLE 31. INTERFERENCE WITH PUBLIC OFFICERS

(720 ILCS 5/31‑1) (from Ch. 38, par. 31‑1)
Sec. 31‑1. Resisting or obstructing a peace officer or correctional institution employee.
(a) A person who knowingly resists or obstructs the performance by one known to the person to be a peace officer or correctional institution employee of any authorized act within his official capacity commits a Class A misdemeanor.
(a‑5) In addition to any other sentence that may be imposed, a court shall order any person convicted of resisting or obstructing a peace officer to be sentenced to a minimum of 48 consecutive hours of imprisonment or ordered to perform community service for not less than 100 hours as may be determined by the court. The person shall not be eligible for probation in order to reduce the sentence of imprisonment or community service.
(a‑7) A person convicted for a violation of this Section whose violation was the proximate cause of an injury to a peace officer is guilty of a Class 4 felony.
(b) For purposes of this Section, "correctional institution employee" means any person employed to supervise and control inmates incarcerated in a penitentiary, State farm, reformatory, prison, jail, house of correction, police detention area, half‑way house, or other institution or place for the incarceration or custody of persons under sentence for offenses or awaiting trial or sentence for offenses, under arrest for an offense, a violation of probation, a violation of parole, or a violation of mandatory supervised release, or awaiting a bail setting hearing or preliminary hearing, or who are sexually dangerous persons or who are sexually violent persons.
(Source: P.A. 92‑841, eff. 8‑22‑02.)

(720 ILCS 5/31‑3) (from Ch. 38, par. 31‑3)
Sec. 31‑3. Obstructing service of process.
Whoever knowingly resists or obstructs the authorized service or execution of any civil or criminal process or order of any court commits a Class B misdemeanor.
(Source: P. A. 77‑2638.)

(720 ILCS 5/31‑4) (from Ch. 38, par. 31‑4)
Sec. 31‑4. Obstructing justice.
A person obstructs justice when, with intent to prevent the apprehension or obstruct the prosecution or defense of any person, he knowingly commits any of the following acts:
(a) Destroys, alters, conceals or disguises physical evidence, plants false evidence, furnishes false information; or
(b) Induces a witness having knowledge material to the subject at issue to leave the State or conceal himself; or
(c) Possessing knowledge material to the subject at issue, he leaves the State or conceals himself.
(d) Sentence.
(1) Obstructing justice is a Class 4 felony, except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection (d).
(2) Obstructing justice in furtherance of streetgang related or gang‑related activity, as defined in Section 10 of the Illinois Streetgang Terrorism Omnibus Prevention Act, is a Class 3 felony.
(Source: P.A. 90‑363, eff. 1‑1‑98.)

The only legal way you can resist what you believe to be unlawful actions by the police is with an attorney in a court of law. Any other resistance will bring you right up against this:

(720 ILCS 5/7‑5) (from Ch. 38, par. 7‑5)
Sec. 7‑5. Peace officer's use of force in making arrest.(a) A peace officer, or any person whom he has summoned or directed to assist him, need not retreat or desist from efforts to make a lawful arrest because of resistance or threatened resistance to the arrest. He is justified in the use of any force which he reasonably believes to be necessary to effect the arrest and of any force which he reasonably believes to be necessary to defend himself or another from bodily harm while making the arrest. However, he is justified in using force likely to cause death or great bodily harm only when he reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or such other person, or when he reasonably believes both that:
(1) Such force is necessary to prevent the arrest from being defeated by resistance or escape; and
(2) The person to be arrested has committed or attempted a forcible felony which involves the infliction or threatened infliction of great bodily harm or is attempting to escape by use of a deadly weapon, or otherwise indicates that he will endanger human life or inflict great bodily harm unless arrested without delay.
(b) A peace officer making an arrest pursuant to an invalid warrant is justified in the use of any force which he would be justified in using if the warrant were valid, unless he knows that the warrant is invalid.
(Source: P.A. 84‑1426.)

So if you use force to resist, you will escalate the situation and at the least you will be arrested, tried and most likely convicted of charges stemming from that resistance. The worst outcome is that you will die for your trouble. But I guess the fact that the warrant was later suppressed in court will be some comfort to you while you sit in prison for resistiing and obstruction. Perhaps your survivors would have The warrant was suppressed, he carried the day in court on your tombstone....

Jeff

Jeff White
June 18, 2006, 05:15 PM
baz,
Unless the warrant was unlawfully issued, there is no unlawful entry into a residence. The warrant makes it lawful. If the warrant was later ruled to be unlawfully issued (because the probable cause didn't meet the standard required by law for a warrant to be issued) it would still be hard to pursue any action against the officers personally, either civilly or criminally because they would have to know that the warrant was unlawfully issued before they would have any liability. Considering a judge signed the warrant, the officers have a pretty good defense that they believed their actions to be lawful.

If the officers simply broke in without bothering to get a warrant and there were no other circumstances (hot pursuit, sounds of fight coming from inside...) that would have made a warrantless entry legal, then the state criminal statutes may apply. But for the most part, in cases like are under discussion here (we're not talking about rogue cops who are ripping off drug dealers) the remedies available to the citizen lie in the federal civil rights laws.

Jeff

AndyC
June 18, 2006, 05:55 PM
the officers have a pretty good defense that they believed their actions to be lawful.
So does the homeowner.

beerslurpy
June 18, 2006, 06:33 PM
I read the ruling, the concurrence and the dissent when it was first released, but I held off replying because I'm busy with law school stuff and the move.

I am ok with this ruling to the extent that it assumes laws illegalizing victimless possession simpliciter are ok and the problem is how balance the needs of evidence gatherers against the needs of the citizenry outlined in Amendment 4.

I think that a lot of the griping about this ruling misses the point- the problem isnt this ruling, the problem is that we (society in general) are demading that police enforce these stupid laws we have. If police could go back to catching criminals of the more traditional variety (property and violent crime) there would be no debate over destruction of evidence. If crimes had victims, the victim and witnesses could stand in the place of much of the physical evidence we protect with this ruling. The problem with these crimes that no-knocks are associated with is that everyone participating in the crime is doing so voluntarily. There cannot be a witness unless you provide someone with an incentive to act against their own interests- bribes, immunity, special favors from police. This, of course, creates corruption.

Am I making any sense here?

ProficientRifleman
June 18, 2006, 07:33 PM
Have YOU read the affidavit and warrant for Waco? There is NOTHING solid in it! A federal judge signed it! Easy to get? You bet! Just use a bunch accusatory language and innuendo, find a "friendly" judge, and let the appeals court worry about the mess, that is, AFTER the state has completely ruined someone's life.

But then it must be easy looking at it from your side. The cops are always right! WooHoo!

The Fourth Amendment? That quaint old thing? It is an anachronism these days. We have something better now. We have modern policing!

Jeff White
June 18, 2006, 07:49 PM
ProficientRifleman asked;
Have YOU read the affidavit and warrant for Waco?

Yes I have.

There is NOTHING solid in it!

Define solid and then tell me what education or professional experience you have that makes your opinion an educated one.

A federal judge signed it!

Yes he did. I think he was right to sign the warrant.

Easy to get? You bet!

So where you work, when you apply for a warrant the judges don't even read it? How many warrants have you applied for in your career? How many of them were granted and how many were turned down? What department do you work for? Send me a PM if you don't want to post it in an open forum.

Just use a bunch accusatory language and innuendo, find a "friendly" judge, and let the appeals court worry about the mess, that is, AFTER the state has completely ruined someone's life.

Could you point me to 5th Circuit's ruling that invalidated the Waco warrant?

The Fourth Amendment? That quaint old thing? It is an anachronism these days. We have something better now. We have modern policing!

And just how long have YOU been a police officer? What do you know about modern policing compared to oh say 30 years ago?

I await your reply.

Jeff

ProficientRifleman
June 18, 2006, 07:50 PM
It seems that, in quoting the statutes from the Pople's State of Illinois, you think it is just lovely that the law REQUIRES a citizen to roll over, pi** on himself, act submissive and hope for the best. That concept is so absolutlely contradictory to the original INTENT of our founding fathers (vis the Fourth Amendment) that it makes me sick!

By the way, in Texas law, resisting with force IS justified when a peace oficer uses more force than is necessary in the first place. A clear case would be Waco, Weaver, or, as is coming soon to a "crime scene near you", an instance where police used a no-knock warrant where it wasn't necessarily called for, just because they could.

But hey, whats the big deal? Where you come from, the cops are always right! Woohoo!

Bartholomew Roberts
June 18, 2006, 08:03 PM
By the way, in Texas law, resisting with force IS justified when a peace oficer uses more force than is necessary in the first place. A clear case would be Waco

Yes, that was good news for the 27 survivors. Not so useful a law for the rest of them. Wonder what would have happened if they had just complied and then gone to court arguing unnecessary force? Based on the ruling in that case, looks like they would have won and nobody would have died and they would have received civil damages.

Jeff White
June 18, 2006, 08:10 PM
It seems that, in quoting the statutes from the Pople's State of Illinois, you think it is just lovely that the law REQUIRES a citizen to roll over, pi** on himself, act submissive and hope for the best. That concept is so absolutlely contradictory to the original INTENT of our founding fathers (vis the Fourth Amendment) that it makes me sick!

What does this have to do with the application for the Waco warrant and if it met the standards of the Fourth amendment?

By the way, in Texas law, resisting with force IS justified when a peace oficer uses more force than is necessary in the first place. A clear case would be Waco, Weaver, or, as is coming soon to a "crime scene near you", an instance where police used a no-knock warrant where it wasn't necessarily called for, just because they could.

There are no laws against resisting arrest in Texas? Who decides if more force then necessary is being used? Could you post a link to that law please?

But hey, whats the big deal? Where you come from, the cops are always right! Woohoo!

The law everywhere that I'm aware of in the United States makes some good faith assumptions when it comes to police powers. I'd be interested to see the Texas laws that don't. It must be anarchy down there with everyone empowerd to be their own judge and making their own decisions on if the police are following the constitution by their personal interpretation of it and resisting as appropriate. :uhoh:

I'm still waiting to hear what in the Waco affidavit wasn't sufficient evidence of criminal activity that the warrant shouldn't have been issued in the first place.

Jeff

ProficientRifleman
June 18, 2006, 08:15 PM
I am not now, nor have I ever wanted to be a Police officer. I am able, however, to read the English language. I am also a student of history. I served in the United States Army for fourteen years. I did so because I believed in the Constitution and took an oath to support and defend it against all enemies. I took that oath seriously.

Define solid and then tell me what education or professional experience you have that makes your opinion an educated one.

I am not an educated Police Officer, as are you, and as a "mere citizen" it occurs to me that "something solid" would be David Aguilera having said in the affidavit something like, "I personally saw branch Davidians firing machine guns and bragging about converting them..." or, "our undercover snitch was sold a machine gun by a Branch Davidian..." Insted what Mr. Aguilera said was tha the Davidians had orderd two hundred M-16 EZ conversion kits. Well, if you were a judge and didn't care much, or know much, about AR type weapons you might think that was machine gun conversion parts. If you were a member of the "gun culture" you would know that what they ordered from Olympic arms was E-2 conversion kits, which have NOTHING to do with machine guns. But then he could always say, after the fact, that it was a typo and he really meant E-2...he idn't lie!

Shucks, I know I'm just an ignorant peasant compared to a Police Officer like you. I know I don't have special cop knowledge or special cop powers of discernment, like you. I haven't been annointed by special cop oil, but common sense should apply here as well as the INTENT of the fourth amendment.

Yes he did. I think he was right to sign the warrant.

Why is that? because a Federal JBT applied for it? Well hell, the cops are always right!

So where you work, when you apply for a warrant the judges don't even read it? How many warrants have you applied for in your career? How many of them were granted and how many were turned down? What department do you work for? Send me a PM if you don't want to post it in an open forum.

I have applied for none and never will. I have no desire to run around ruining other people's lives under the color of law.

And just how long have YOU been a police officer? What do you know about modern policing compared to oh say 30 years ago?

I have not been and will not be. I can see, as you cannot, where this latest SCOTUS ruling will lead. If you are a student of history, as you should be if you really care about the community you "serve".

Modern policing such as the deployment of the SWAT team for just about any and every warrant service in which someone somewhere might be armed, which is just about every where. Modern Policing such as, "Knock and announce? We don't need no stinkin knock and announce..."

Its an old argumentative tactic to rant "oh yeah? how long did you spend on the job?....so there!" I'm not a woman either, never have been, never will be, but I know in my heart that abortion as a matter of public policy is wrong. I have never been an airline pilot but that wouldn't pevent me rom working for the NTSB, now would it? MOST ATF agents aren't members of the "gun culture" either are they? But you think that they are believable, knowlegable, and would never lie... becasue, well, you know....

By the way, You didn't respond to the idea that the Fourth Amendment is a quaint old anachronism... what do you believe? Besides the cops are always right?

beerslurpy
June 18, 2006, 08:15 PM
Hey Jeff, not to be contrarian but I feel you are avoiding the meat of the matter. If the local police get the wrong address and kick in Joe Kalashnikov's door at 3 am looking for a meth lab that is down the street, misdemeanor obstruction is not going to be on the menu.

In Florida at least, homeowners are only obliged to refrain from killng intruders when they have reason to beleive the intruders are police performing their lawful duties. Obviously if the police are performing a good warrant on the correct address, that starts the homeowner off in a weak position. But if the police were there through their own error, this severely weakens their ability to prosecute. Maybe not as a matter of law, but definitely in the minds of most juries. As with a burglar, the first question will always be "well what were you doing there in the first place?" Of course the power of the jury wont do much good if the average juror beleives that citizens should assume a submissive position to all shows of force.

Jeff, you should read the police responses in the local papers to this ruling. Ruling Unlikely To Alter Police Searches (http://news.tbo.com/news/nationworld/MGBG4HS0IOE.html) They all stated that they never worried about exclusion so much as they worried about homeowners or suspects shooting at them. They said a few officers who really wanted to make cases might try aggressive entries after this ruling, but they said that most were going to continue erring on the side of caution.

Morman, who investigates narcotics cases for the Tampa Police Department, said the ruling would not affect police operations because officers always announce themselves for safety reasons.

"We want them to know who we are and what our presence and authority is," said Morman, a 24-year department veteran.

Decades ago, officers wanted to use the element of surprise, especially in drug cases, to avoid people flushing evidence, he said.

The prevalence of home invasions and robberies among drug dealers, however, means anyone barging into a place unannounced takes a huge risk, he said.

"Everyone realizes that safety's got to be the most important thing," Morman said.

Morman said it is understood to wait "a reasonable amount of time for a person to answer a door."

Generally within 15 seconds or so, police will hear, "Yeah?" or some acknowledgment, Morman said.

"If you hear footsteps running away, or you hear, 'Dump it; it's the cops' - once they exhibit they're not going to comply, we would make a forceful entry," he said.

Defense lawyers said police would be wise to maintain the status quo and continue to follow the knock-and-announce rule.

"I think it's a dangerous and scary opinion because we can expect more doors being battered down in the middle of the night and more scared people inside those doors shooting it out with police, particularly in a state like Florida with all the gun owners," said Tampa lawyer Rochelle A. Reback.

This is very encouraging to me, because it says the local cops have common sense and also that gun ownership is deterring both crime and tyrannical behavior.

benEzra
June 18, 2006, 08:22 PM
To me, the troubling things about this ruling are twofold:

(1) The justices acknowledge the search was unlawful, but state the fruit of an unlawful search can be presented in court, under the rationale that if they had bothered to follow the terms of the warrant, the result would have been the same. Reductio ad absurdum, one could argue with equal seriousness (and equal logic) that the fruit of a warrantless search can be presented in court, since if the police had bothered to get a warrant, the result would have been the same.

(2) It seems to remove the last vestige of giving the accused the opportunity to comply before having his/her door kicked in. Remember we are speaking of a routine search warrant here, NOT a no-knock warrant. If the police can show up at my door with a ROUTINE warrant, yell, then kick my door in after 3 seconds and storm the house, how the heck am I supposed to comply with their request to open the door? Under the new rules, they no longer have to give me that opportunity, and 800 years of common law and legal tradition bite the dust.

ProficientRifleman
June 18, 2006, 08:42 PM
Here is the law from Texas Statutes:

§ 9.31. SELF-DEFENSE. (a) Except as provided in
Subsection (b), a person is justified in using force against
another when and to the degree he reasonably believes the force is
immediately necessary to protect himself against the other's use or
attempted use of unlawful force.
(b) The use of force against another is not justified:
(1) in response to verbal provocation alone;
(2) to resist an arrest or search that the actor knows
is being made by a peace officer, or by a person acting in a peace
officer's presence and at his direction, even though the arrest or
search is unlawful, unless the resistance is justified under
Subsection (c);
(3) if the actor consented to the exact force used or
attempted by the other;
(4) if the actor provoked the other's use or attempted
use of unlawful force, unless:
(A) the actor abandons the encounter, or clearly
communicates to the other his intent to do so reasonably believing
he cannot safely abandon the encounter; and
(B) the other nevertheless continues or attempts
to use unlawful force against the actor; or
(5) if the actor sought an explanation from or
discussion with the other person concerning the actor's differences
with the other person while the actor was:
(A) carrying a weapon in violation of Section
46.02; or
(B) possessing or transporting a weapon in
violation of Section 46.05.
(c) The use of force to resist an arrest or search is
justified:
(1) if, before the actor offers any resistance, the
peace officer (or person acting at his direction) uses or attempts
to use greater force than necessary to make the arrest or search;
and
(2) when and to the degree the actor reasonably
believes the force is immediately necessary to protect himself
against the peace officer's (or other person's) use or attempted use
of greater force than necessary.

cropcirclewalker
June 18, 2006, 09:01 PM
Mr. White, curious that you should post
I'm still waiting to hear what in the Waco affidavit wasn't sufficient evidence of criminal activity that the warrant shouldn't have been issued in the first place.
On my homegrown gun group up here in MO we were discussing Waco just the other day. One of our members, namely

John Ross of "Unintended Consequences" fame made a post and I hope I am not breaking some rule by quoting him....

http://www.missouricarry.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=11048&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=30

Some things to ponder:

Was Koresh having sex with minors? Perhaps, but we're talking 15-16, not 8, and Texas law has a lower age of consent than most other states. In any event, it's not a federal tax matter.

Was Koresh the leader of a cult? Perhaps, but that is not a federal tax matter.

Were there firearms violations at Mt. Carmel? If there were, the atf didn't bother to list them on the search warrant. All the things ATF hoped to find were legal to own without any prior approval (AR15 parts, etc.) The search warrant is astonishing in that it lists only the things I might have in my house if I were NOT a Class III dealer.

Focusing on alleged sex practices and saying that justifies the ATF's actions is like saying it would be OK, after hearing reports that your Catholic priest had had sex with an altar boy, for the ATF to attack your church with two gooseneck cattle trailers carrying dozens of ninja-clad agents with machine guns.

JR
_________________
www.john-ross.net I have a real serious feeling that Mr. Ross, as most of you know, researched Waco for his book (a good book, by the way) and yes, the managed media made Koresh out be be doing all kinds of things, eating his young, doing cult like activities, trying to get cats and dogs to live together in harmony and all like that, but the question remains.........

How is that within the jurisdiction of the ATF? and.... What was the crime?

NineseveN
June 18, 2006, 09:23 PM
First:

Jeff White, I suggest you go back and read Michael Courtney’s post, he made it very clear that he wasn’t talking about breaking the law and killing people that one knows to be cops, he specifically stated that;

“Since they are not acting in line with the law, it might be reasonable to conclude that they are not really government agents, in spite of whatever attempts they have made to identify themselves as such.

So what you've got is a bunch of armed thugs pretending to be cops, invading your home, and taking whatever they want. It would be legal to respond as a reasonable man as allowed by the laws of your state.”

And I agree, if you have no reason to suspect that they are police officers, armed intruders in your home should be dealt with according to your own moral judgement. It comes back down to a reasonable man standard. I hope you misread his post, it’s not like you to twist someone’s words and insinuate that they’re advocating an illegal act in order to discredit someone.


Beerslurpy:

I agree, those remarks are very encouraging; unfortunately, we’ll have to take a wait and see approach to find out how things truly pan out in the real world.



To me, the troubling things about this ruling are twofold:

(1) The justices acknowledge the search was unlawful, but state the fruit of an unlawful search can be presented in court, under the rationale that if they had bothered to follow the terms of the warrant, the result would have been the same. Reductio ad absurdum, one could argue with equal seriousness (and equal logic) that the fruit of a warrantless search can be presented in court, since if the police had bothered to get a warrant, the result would have been the same.

(2) It seems to remove the last vestige of giving the accused the opportunity to comply before having his/her door kicked in. Remember we are speaking of a routine search warrant here, NOT a no-knock warrant. If the police can show up at my door with a ROUTINE warrant, yell, then kick my door in after 3 seconds and storm the house, how the heck am I supposed to comply with their request to open the door? Under the new rules, they no longer have to give me that opportunity, and 800 years of common law and legal tradition bite the dust.

Agreed, though as Beerslurpy’s post stated, there is a chance that this won’t truly impact anything in the real world, though I personally won’t take a couple of blurbs from cops on the news or in a story as gospel or even representative of the actions of the LEO community as a whole.



cropcirclewalker, I was going to post that exact thing because I thought it was pertinent to the whole Waco side-debate going on, but I didn’t want to derail the thread. It’s a good point of view though, and it does make sense because Ross does know what he’s talking about in regards to the matter. I don’t agree with his entire thesis, but overall it’s pretty spot on IMHO.

Jeff White
June 18, 2006, 10:03 PM
Cropcirclewalker,

This discussion is not about if the BATF had jurisdiction over a cult. It's funny, but thinking back several years to when I read the affidavit I seem to recall something about handgrenade bodies and statements from CI's about loading them and making improvised handgrenades. I also seem to recall that the investigation started because a box broke open in a UPS truck and the driver reported it's contents, which were dummy hand grenage bodies. Making improvised hand grenades most assuredly falls under the National Firearms Act making it BATF's jurisdiction. There was in fact enough probable cause that violations of the National Firearms Act were being committed and that evidence of such violations were to be found in the Branch Dividian Compound that the judge was justified in issuing the warrant.

The crimes that were committed by the government started when the BATF lied to the Army by telling them there was drug operation in the Branch Dividian compound in order to receive training and operational assistance from JTF-6. They compunded after that. But I don't believe any court has found any errors in the preliminary investigation or the issuance of the warrant.

With all due respect to John Ross, Unintended Consequences is a work of fiction that is supposed to entertain. You might also say that it's intended to promote a certain political agenda, but I won't go that far because I don't know what Mr. Ross intended to accomplish with his work. It is not an unbiased well researched account of the debacle at Waco. There is not now and I doubt is there ever will be a complete unbiased account of what really happened. Too much evidence has been destroyed and there are still too many repercussions for people who are involved in the federal government for the participants to tell their story.

NineseveN,
I most assuredly did not misread Michael Courtney's post. When he stated:
“Since they are not acting in line with the law, it might be reasonable to conclude that they are not really government agents, in spite of whatever attempts they have made to identify themselves as such.

He's saying that since you don't meet my personal standard (after all in this day and age everyone on an internet firearms forum is more qualified then an Associate Justice on the USSC to decide what is constitutional and what isn't) for what's constitutional, right or fair, it's ok to shoot them and claim that I didn't believe they were who they said they were as my defense. How is that advocating legal conduct?

ProficientRifleman,
Some background (if not personal then at least well researched) knowledge is necessary so that someone can look past the all the BS and have an intelligent meaningful discussion of a complicated issue. You aren't in a position to state that the Waco Warrant should never have been issued if you aren't aware of the standards required.

I think you're the only participant in this thread who still believes that this decision will eliminate the knock and announce warrant. beerslurpy hit the nail squarely on the head when he stated that one of the big reasons for knock and announce is the safety of the officers.

He's also correct that these rules are a direct result of the failed war on drugs and that decisions like this will continue to be made until we declare victory and end the war on drugs.

The Fourth Amendment is most definately not some quaint anachronism. It is probably one of the most actively debated part of the constitution. Most police departments receive monthly or quarterly updates on cases from all around the country so that we can keep operating within the law. Heck it's spawned it's own branch of the publishing industry to research, write, print and distribute those updates.

As for old policing v. so called new policing, the courts for the most part have greatly expanded privacy rights, more closely defined what is and isn't enough probable cause to issue a warrant, defined the circumstances as to when you can and can't take action more in the past 30 years then at any other time in American history.

Jeff

Old Dog
June 18, 2006, 10:07 PM
Just returned from a few days out of town and am fascinated by a thread filled with so much meaningless analysis of a Supreme Court decision that doesn't really change anything ...

Y'all get so spun up by yet another SCOTUS decision that is basically the product of a bunch of twenty-something clerks who've never even practiced law in this country. Our justices are far too busy writing books and taking all-expense paid trips (the recently retired O'Connor took twenty-eight paid trips in one year alone while publishing three books in a four-year period) to really get involved with interpreting Constitutional issues.

Only one of our justices even writes his own first drafts of opinions (and he's the 86-year old Stevens!) ... the rest have have their personal bunch of kids write their opinions. And yet, we're seeing a Supreme Court with the lightest caseload in the history of the institution (with paid three-months recesses to boot).

And some of you express surprise and discontent with the direction of the Court?

NineseveN
June 18, 2006, 10:36 PM
He's saying that since you don't meet my personal standard (after all in this day and age everyone on an internet firearms forum is more qualified then an Associate Justice on the USSC to decide what is constitutional and what isn't) for what's constitutional, right or fair, it's ok to shoot them and claim that I didn't believe they were who they said they were as my defense. How is that advocating legal conduct?

While I don't wish to put words into someone's mouth, he most certainly is not advocating illegal conduct as I read it.

What he is saying, is that if a group of armed intruders breaks down your door, if you truly do not believe that they are in fact officers of the law, but instead criminals , "it would be legal to respond as a reasonable man as allowed by the laws of your state".

He specifically mentions acting in accordance with the laws in your state.


In PA:
505. Use of force in self-protection.

(a) Use of force justifiable for protection of the person.--The use of force upon or toward another person is justifiable when the actor believes that such force is immediately necessary for the purpose of protecting himself against the use of unlawful force by such other person on the present occasion.

(b) Limitations on justifying necessity for use of force.--

1. The use of force is not justifiable under this section:
1. to resist an arrest which the actor knows is being made by a peace officer, although the arrest is unlawful; or
2. to resist force used by the occupier or possessor of property or by another person on his behalf, where the actor knows that the person using the force is doing so under a claim of right to protect the property, except that this limitation shall not apply if:

(A) the actor is a public officer acting in the performance of his duties or a person lawfully assisting him therein or a person making or assisting in a lawful arrest;
(B) the actor has been unlawfully dispossessed of the property and is making a reentry or recaption justified by section 507 of this title (relating to use of force for the protection of property); or
(C) the actor believes that such force is necessary to protect himself against death or serious bodily injury.


2. The use of deadly force is not justifiable under this section unless the actor believes that such force is necessary to protect himself against death, serious bodily injury, kidnapping or sexual intercourse compelled by force or threat; nor is it justifiable if:
1. the actor, with the intent of causing death or serious bodily injury, provoked the use of force against himself in the same encounter; or
2. the actor knows that he can avoid the necessity of using such force with complete safety by retreating or by surrendering possession of a thing to a person asserting a claim of right thereto or by complying with a demand that he abstain from any action which he has no duty to take, except that:

(A) the actor is not obliged to retreat from his dwelling or place of work, unless he was the initial aggressor or is assailed in his place of work by another person whose place of work the actor knows it to be; and
(B) a public officer justified in using force in the performance of his duties or a person justified in using force in his assistance or a person justified in using force in making an arrest or preventing an escape is not obliged to desist from efforts to perform such duty, effect such arrest or prevent such escape because of resistance or threatened resistance by or on behalf of the person against whom such action is directed.


3. Except as required by paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subsection, a person employing protective force may estimate the necessity thereof under the circumstances as he believes them to be when the force is used, without retreating, surrendering possession, doing any other act which he has no legal duty to do or abstaining from any lawful action.



>>>>>>>

Unless I know that the guy shouting "police" with the AR-15 that just broke down my door is in fact a police officer, if I fire to protect my life because I fear it is in danger, the only question the courts need to decide is whether or not I truly knew the aggressor was an officer of the law or not and whether my actions conform to the so-called reasonable man standard. I do not engage in illegal conduct nor do I associate with those that do, thus I have no reason to believe that the police would perform such an act at my residence.

I have no duty to retreat under such a circumstance.

I have a right to legally protect my life as long as I conform to the reasonable man standard.

I only need to ascertain whether or not I truly believe that the actor that has broken my door down is in fact a bona-fide police officer.

I do not need to ascertain if the actions of the police officer are legal if I know the actor to be a bona-fide police officer, unless I am in immediate fear for my life and deadly force is justified. The courts would need to sort out whether or not the police were acting within the scope of their official duties and whether or not a true threat to my life existed as I saw it under the reasonable man standard.

If I am sleeping, and my door gets bashed in, if I do not hear the word, "police" or anything to that effect, I can reasonably assume that this is a home invasion and act in accordance with the laws on justified self defense.

If I do hear the words police, but other circumstances convince me that the actors in question are not police officers, I may defend my life accordingly.

The courts will need to decide whether or not I acted within the reasonable man standard and whether or not I knew the police to in fact be police...as side issue for them to ascertain may be whether or not the police were acting within the law during their actions (though that is not a determination that I get to make if I in fact know the actors to be police officers).


If you're suggesting that criminals somehow lack the vocabulary to yell "police", you're completely wrong. I've been witness to thugs saying just that to throw off their intended victims.

If you're suggesting that we should all roll over when someone yells "police" after breaking down your door with no apparent cause or justification to do so and no other apparent or solid indication of their status as officers of the law, you're barking up the wrong tree.

ProficientRifleman
June 18, 2006, 10:39 PM
First,

I do not intend to be uncivil in my argument. You seemed to challenge the validity of opinion because I'm not a cop. I will differ with you on that issue.

I do not believe that this one SCOTUS decision changes everything. I do believe that is is an indicator of the trend. The framers of the constitution knew that the way of government is force. They chained the beast of government, or thought they did. I also believe that where the door is open to abuse, abuse will happen...(hence the necessity of the chains). It is just a matter of time. Most Police agencies will continue with their departmental policies and procedures as they have before.

I believe that this ruling shows the trend toward non-exclusionry circumstances. The trend toward more heavy handed tactics will continue. It will grow. This case is one of those pivotal cases which may be called up for precedent.

A final word on Waco...the warrant (will have to find it in my pile of stuff here also) did not say ATF had evidence of the Davidians reactivating hand grenades. It said they had empty grenade bodies (which anyone could have seen at a gun show, attached to a plaque with the old "in case of emergency, pull pin"...a curio, noting more) and they had quatities of gun powder. The warrant said, could be, may be, etc...

By that standard, anyone in the USA who reloads ammunition could be suspected of being a terrorist. He'll have large ammounts (a pound or 3) of gun powder and any available container, which could be construed...etc.

I think before we all cheer and shout hurah(!) that the SCOTUS has ruled one against the bad guys, we should temper our enthusiasm by thinking of what it means for each of us, who may or may never have a warrant served on us, or a family member...or a neighbor...just in case the police get the address wrong. This is why I referrenced Texas law on the matter of excessive force.

No ill will intended.

cropcirclewalker
June 18, 2006, 10:53 PM
Yo, Mr. White, not to hijack the string............but

It's funny, but thinking back several years to when I read the affidavit I seem to recall something about handgrenade bodies and statements from CI's about loading them and making improvised handgrenades. I also seem to recall that the investigation started because a box broke open in a UPS truck and the driver reported it's contents, which were dummy hand grenage bodies. dummy hand grenades are not illegal. I found the warrant on the net, (Ain't it great?)

http://www.jaedworks.com/shoebox/waco.html

and the guy who swore out the affidavit made lots of references to dummy this and inert that, and them having machine tools and cardboard tubes but I failed to see any swearing of illegal things. I also saw a bunch of hear say stuff he said about people telling him things that might be illegal, but there were no other sworn statements by them.

If I'da been the judge I would have asked for some more swearing by people who had actually witnessed some wrong doing.

Yes, we all agree that Waco was a Charlie Foxtrot and that the ATF needs to be euthanized, buried and never mentioned again.

alan
June 19, 2006, 01:49 AM
I could be entirely wrong in/with regard to the following however respecting this USSC ruling, it strikes me that Mr., Mrs., Ms. law abiding citizen will come out of this with the short straw.

One can put any amount of lipstick on this pig, however I believe that nothing will change the above conclusion, barring The Court reversing itself, which I submit is unlikely given the court, as it stands now, and it could get worse.

I do not have any answers to the obvious question of what's next or what to do.

publius
June 20, 2006, 07:27 AM
If the evidence is not suppressed, what will motivate police to follow the proper procedure?I believe that has already been answered: no donut.

Jeff White asked a question which may not have been answered, namely, what has changed.

Well, back in 2003 (http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2003-12-02-court-police_x.htm), the SCOTUS unanimously ruled that police must wait 15 to 20 seconds after announcing their presence before smashing a door. Now, they must wait 3.

Seems to me that the allegedly difficult-to-get no-knock type of warrants are obsolete. What's the difference between zero seconds and three, especially when the court might once again cut that 3 seconds by another 80% in a few more years, bringing the wait time down to 6/10 of a second.

Kentak
June 20, 2006, 08:29 AM
It used to be that "conservative" meant limiting the power of government to infringe on the rights of ordinary citizens. I guess it now means expanding police powers.

Just a thought.

K

Fleetwing1627
June 20, 2006, 09:16 AM
I'm not sure I understand.

At my house, the front door is always locked with a deadbolt. We rarely ever use it, instead using the back door and garage door. If cops came to the house to serve a warrant, and weren't required to knock, then what does it matter? I assume cops normally use the front door, and it would be locked. They'd have to knock to be let in, unless they wanted to carry a shotgun with them every time they served a warrant. Most people I know rarely use their front doors and keep them locked.

Michael Courtney
June 20, 2006, 09:49 AM
We don't advocate breaking the law on this forum.

I was clearly not advocating breaking the law or resisting law enforcement.

I was pointing out (as the ruling itself also pointed out) that when a law enforcement agent breaks the law, a reasonable man is more likely (especially when only given an instant to consider the situation) to conclude that he is dealing with a criminal rather than a genuine law enforcement officer.

The new SCOTUS ruling only changes the remedy, not the basic illegality of the act in question. So when a reaonable man sees armed men breaking into his house, and the actions of the armed men both appear to be illegal, and are, in fact, illegal, why is it not reasonable to conclude that the armed men breaking into his home illegally are criminals?

I've never been a big fan of the exclusionary rule, but it was a significant negative consequence of illegal searches. Without sufficient negative consequences, there is the risk of proliferation of illegal searches. With the proliferation of illegal searches, there is increased risk of law enforcement agents being reasonably identified as criminals.

Personally, I've always believed that once they are acting outside the legal scope of their duties, government agents should be treated as ordinary citizens when they commit an act which is a crime for an ordinary citizen. This is an available remedy that would protect the interests of all concerned without freeing the guilty as the exclusionary rule.

Michael Courtney

Biker
June 20, 2006, 10:02 AM
If a squad of cops ever 'no-knocked' my house, it would be hilarious. I never lock my door and you have to go down a flight of stairs to get into my house.
Lead guy hits it with a ram and flies down my stairs with the rest of the guys landing on top of him.
After I stopped laughing, I guess I'd just offer 'em a brew.

Biker

TallPine
June 20, 2006, 12:58 PM
Seems to me that the allegedly difficult-to-get no-knock type of warrants are obsolete. What's the difference between zero seconds and three, especially when the court might once again cut that 3 seconds by another 80% in a few more years, bringing the wait time down to 6/10 of a second.
I think that about sums it up ... :(


The whole thing kinda reminds me of that scene in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, where one of the thugs in the gang challenges Butch's (Paul Newman) leadership, and they decide to fight it out "on the count of three." Sundance Kid then says "123" just as fast as possible and the little Butch knocks out the big thug before he can react. ;)

Biker
June 20, 2006, 01:03 PM
Actually, I think that it was the initial boot to the twins that took care o' bidness for Butch.:)

Biker

kludge
June 21, 2006, 12:57 PM
I think the biggest concern with the ruling has to do with the "security" and "sanctity" of the home. This has "misuse" written all over it.

I was under the (mis?)conception that when LEO's issued a warrant, I would be allowed to answer the door, the warrant would be presented, I would be able to see what they wanted to seach, why, and what they were looking for. I had no idea that a "knock", and/or an "announcement" and a wait of 3-5 seconds before breaking down the door could be construed as constitutional.

Who, may I ask, unless they are within arms reach of the door could ever answer it in the time allotted.

publius
June 21, 2006, 12:59 PM
I've never been a big fan of the exclusionary rule, but it was a significant negative consequence of illegal searches.

Corrected version:

I've never been a big fan of the exclusionary rule, but it is the significant negative consequence of illegal searches.

The judicial branch has exactly one arrow in their quiver on this one, and it's the exclusionary rule. Any other answer is just another version of "Bad cop! No donut!" I'm a big fan of the exclusionary rule for that reason. Without it, we have no balance of powers. "Behave yourselves, or else" works a heck of a lot better than "behave yourselves, please."

Malum Prohibitum
June 21, 2006, 02:17 PM
There was no need for a "no-knock" warrant service in Waco, Texas. The ATF wanted to put on a show for the media, which is the only reason it was handled the way it was handled. Of course, the "show" did not quite turn out like planned.

It was well known that Vernon Howell (psuedonym David Koresh) had previously been arrested by the local Sheriff for a violent crime charge. How did the local Sheriff go about serving the warrant?

(a) Call in the National Guard?

(b) Send out a SWAT team?

(c) Lie in wait to surprise him with an assault team during a trip to town?

(d) None of the above.


If you selected (d), then you are correct. The Sheriff simply picked up the phone and called him to tell him he had a warrant for his arrest and he would like him to turn himself in. Guess what? He did.

I don't guess the ATF likes to send out a couple of guys in coats and ties to knock on the door and politely request to search the place.


I have personally served "no knock" warrants. No fun. It was always amazing to me that nobody inside opened fire (middle of night, door crashing in, flashlights blinding, people screaming -oh, yeah, that's called "identifying yourselves as police", naked women running into the closet with front sights tracking them and waiting to see what will emerge from the closet).

It made me begin to wonder if there was not a better way to do it.
I used to think, what if this was my home? What would I do?

cropcirclewalker
June 21, 2006, 03:03 PM
It begins.........

http://www.news-leader.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060619/COLUMNISTS17/606190353

Raid on home turns up no meth lab but leaves two injured

Durr-Pojar said she did run for her bathroom and closed her door. "I thought they were going to kill me. All this fire seemed to come through the windows. ... I didn't know if they were gun shots or what, and I thought Curtis had been shot or that the propane tank had blown up. I ran to the bathroom when I saw Curtis' head go down when the officers knocked him down. I closed the door, and they knocked it in and hit me in the head with it, then knocked me to the floor," said Durr-Pojar, who is on disability but works part-time making phone calls for a Springfield business.

NineseveN
June 21, 2006, 03:36 PM
Raid on home turns up no meth lab but leaves two injured

Patricia Durr-Pojar has a gash beneath her right eye, with stitches and a bandage over it.
Her son, Curtis Pojar, has bruises on his back and a contusion under his left eye. Durr-Pojar spent Thursday and Friday nights in a local emergency room — first, to have the cut under her eye treated, for a CT scan of her head and X-rays on her knees. The next night she went back to get a knee splint and crutches.

"I've had lots of knee surgery, and they slammed me down so hard on my knees," she said.

"They" are members of COMET — the Combined Ozark Multi-Jurisdictional Enforcement Team — who broke into her home Thursday night to execute a search warrant for a reported meth lab.



They found none after breaking windows, doors and screens and knocking Durr-Pojar and Pojar to the floor and handcuffing both of them.

The warrant signed by Greene County Circuit Judge Mark Powell specified officers were to search for "controlled substances, in particular, methamphetamine, methamphetamine paraphernalia and other related items used in the manufacture and/or the distributing of controlled substances, in particular, methamphetamine."

Durr-Pojar said she believes the SWAT team arrived around 10 p.m., but said she isn't sure because of the time she was kept on her bathroom floor, not allowed to get up, "and I may have blacked out part of that time."

Despite officers breaking in and throwing items out of the second-story windows, the receipt of what officers took from the property listed nothing found in Durr-Pojar's home.

Found in Curtis Pojar's trailer — where he lives in front of his mother's house — and seized by officers were a .22 caliber pistol, "two bags of marijuana, marijuana pipe and roach clip, bag and bottle of marijuana seeds and bottle of marijuana."

Pojar was charged with possession of the items. He also was convicted in 1997 of possession of drug paraphernalia and received a suspended sentence and probation.

Durr-Pojar said she could not get any of the officers who broke into her house to tell her why they were there, except to berate her for risking her neighbor's safety by running a meth lab in her home.

Durr-Pojar said she saw at least one Missouri Highway Patrol vehicle and one from the Willard Fire Protection District among those gathered,

but a dispatcher with the patrol said Sunday that any information released would have to come from the agency the patrol was assisting at such an event.

Gary Wirth, Willard Fire Chief, said his agency only responded to the scene for a medical call.

Springfield Police could provide no information on the raid Sunday, but Greene County Sheriff Jack Merritt was able to find out information about the raid and said COMET officers did acknowledge injuring Durr-Pojar.

He said officers had information leading them to think there may have been a meth lab at the home.

The resident said she and her son had just returned home when black-garbed officers with black masks started setting off explosives outside the house.

"A flash grenade went off," Pojar said. "We didn't know what it was, but they threw it at the back window. It sounded like a stick of dynamite went off."

Durr-Pojar said neither she nor her son heard any of the officers identify themselves before or as they were breaking in.

Pojar, who has no kitchen in his travel trailer, was in the kitchen of his mom's home when they came in. He ran toward her room, while she was headed to the bathroom.

"She was screaming and I didn't know what was going on," he said. "That's when they knocked her to the floor."

Durr-Pojar said she did run for her bathroom and closed her door. "I thought they were going to kill me. All this fire seemed to come through the windows. ... I didn't know if they were gun shots or what, and I thought Curtis had been shot or that the propane tank had blown up. I ran to the bathroom when I saw Curtis' head go down when the officers knocked him down. I closed the door, and they knocked it in and hit me in the head with it, then knocked me to the floor," said Durr-Pojar, who is on disability but works part-time making phone calls for a Springfield business.

Merritt said COMET officers "said they thought she was running from them, even though they were yelling at her to stop."

Durr-Pojar said her head wound came from her face hitting the ceramic tile of her bathroom floor. "They hit in here with such violence, it was in a militant, terrorist style." Mother and son both said an officer repeatedly jumped up and down on Pojar's back with his knee, despite their both calling out that Pojar had had back fusion surgery in March from a construction injury.

On Sunday morning, broken glass from the front storm door lay on the house's front porch, yard and in Durr-Pojar's bathroom, and broken screens and storm windows were strewn over the yard. A plastic bag full of latex gloves and black items lay on the yard, Durr-Pojar said, left by the officers. "I was afraid to touch it — I don't know what's in it."

She said she is afraid to clean the glass from her tub so she can take a bath, or clean up other glass and a dark brown puddle on her tile which she believes is her blood, because friends and family members encouraged her to see a lawyer and she wasn't able to contact one on the weekend.

Flies, other insects — and perhaps other critters — come and go into the house, while Durr-Pojar and her son wonder how they will secure it. "I don't have no way to fix it," she said. "OACAC (the Ozarks Area Community Action Corporation) helped me winterize it and re-wire the electricity. But how do you think I'm going to replace my house?"

Indeed.

No law-abiding citizen can condone the thought of a meth lab. Its manufacture and sale brings danger to innocent people from users and their meth-madness, including the hazards of it blowing everyone near it to Kingdom Come.

But the brutality of this raid is terrifying. Durr-Pojar and her son said they did not hear officers warn them before breaking in.

And run from them? I've watched enough cop shows to know that in drug raids, people show up in black. But if they broke into my house unexpectedly among blazes and booms, would my first instinct be to run? You bet — run, jump, try to fly or drop and roll. I would probably think I was going to be killed, too.

And yes, the officers had to look at the items in a home where they suspected a meth lab.

But to throw things out a window, breaking them out and leaving them on the ground of a woman who obviously doesn't have money to replace them, wrestling her to the ground and holding her down so hard she needed stitches in her face?

What did that benefit their search?

I'd love to hear their answer.



Does anyone think this was handled properly? Personally, I don't know if there's enough info to go on here, I'd like to see the warrant and what exactly led them to believe that there was a meth lab where there really wasn't one? I don't like the way this turned out, but is this a case that is affected by thee SCOTUS decision? No evidence was found, so that's the test case we're kinda looking for here, now can they afford to sue and who's going to pay the damages?

Biker
June 21, 2006, 03:38 PM
Scary stuff. "Comet", huh?:scrutiny:

Biker

cropcirclewalker
June 21, 2006, 04:01 PM
This coulda been a no-knock warrant but if it was it was an abuse.

You can't flush a meth lab down the toilet and neither of the suspects had a history of violent behaviour.

What other criterium would get a no-knock?

Leos?

NineseveN
June 21, 2006, 04:24 PM
neither of the suspects had a history of violent behaviour

Do we know this for sure?

K-Romulus
June 21, 2006, 04:51 PM
I don't get the flashbang thing.

Aren't methlabs supposed to be volatile?

My bud's little brother blew up his stepdad's house trying the WECSOMM* way of setting up and running a meth lab. That stunt cost him three years in state jail, plus PO'ing the last family member who would still talk to him.

Would any sane person throw an exposive device at a place filled with combustible chemical vapor?:confused: :what:

*WECSOMM - Wyle E. Coyote School of Meth Making

cropcirclewalker
June 21, 2006, 04:53 PM
Although the article did not say, it did say that the guy got a probation for possession of paraphenalia.

They took his piece but did not say they were charging him with "felon in possession". That would be the usual piling on that they do when they catch a bg with a piece.

If they coulda they woulda.

I am only surmizing.

Otherwise the guy seeking the warrant could have gotten it out of the penumbra.

NineseveN
June 21, 2006, 04:57 PM
Good points, both of you.

If you enjoyed reading about "SCOTUS: Police don't have to knock, justices say" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!