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

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Chipperman, Jun 15, 2006.

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  1. Chipperman

    Chipperman Member

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    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:
     
  2. Camp David

    Camp David member

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    This is bad; very very bad... :mad:
     
  3. K-Romulus

    K-Romulus Member

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    I will have to read the details

    but, man oh man . . .:uhoh:
     
  4. Biker

    Biker Member

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    Yup. How did Alito get in on the mix?

    Biker;)
     
  5. Daniel T

    Daniel T Member

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    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?
     
  6. Sindawe

    Sindawe Member

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    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:
     
  7. Biker

    Biker Member

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    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
     
  8. WayneConrad

    WayneConrad Member

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    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.
     
  9. Sindawe

    Sindawe Member

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    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.
     
  10. Biker

    Biker Member

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    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
     
  11. Sindawe

    Sindawe Member

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    Forget Bro Beam Biker, better to spend some time with Bro Browning.
     
  12. BrennanKG

    BrennanKG Member

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    This seems like a first step on a rather slippery slope.
    :(





    B.
     
  13. Biker

    Biker Member

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    Well Sindawe, two "Bs" are better than one, or so they tell me.;)

    Biker
     
  14. Lupinus

    Lupinus Member

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    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.
     
  15. Hawkmoon

    Hawkmoon Member

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    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.
     
  16. Rumble

    Rumble Member

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    Lupinus beat me to it--how is this a conservative decision? They voted to increase police powers and abrogate a Constitutional protection.
     
  17. Lupinus

    Lupinus Member

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    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.
     
  18. Biker

    Biker Member

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    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
     
  19. Gordon Fink

    Gordon Fink Member

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

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

    ~G. Fink
     
  20. rem

    rem Member

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    Then they shouldn't be surprised what happens when they serve the wrong house on "accident" without announcing themselves.
     
  21. YellowLab

    YellowLab member

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    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.
     
  22. YellowLab

    YellowLab member

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    "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.
     
  23. Tokugawa

    Tokugawa Member

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    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?
     
  24. RaetherEnt

    RaetherEnt Member

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    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.
     
  25. Gordon Fink

    Gordon Fink Member

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    It’s difficult to fight in court when you’ve already been killed by police gunfire.

    ~G. Fink
     
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