Supreme Court affirms police action in Kentucky drug case

Discussion in 'Legal and Activism' started by Bigcountry02, May 18, 2011.

  1. Bigcountry02

    Bigcountry02 Coffee! If your not shaking, you need another cup Supporter

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    A little more of our freedom of the 4th Amendment just disappeared. Supreme Court ruled 8 to 1 with Judge Ginsburg strongly disagreed.

    What is next, having an illegal candy bar? :mad:

    Supreme Court affirms police action in Kentucky drug case - The Washington Post

    “The court today arms the police with a way routinely to dishonor the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement in drug cases,” Ginsburg wrote. “In lieu of presenting their evidence to a neutral magistrate, police officers may now knock, listen, then break the door down, nevermind that they had ample time to obtain a warrant.”

    Generally, the Constitution requires police to receive permission or obtain a warrant before entering someone’s home, which Ginsburg called “our most private space.” But the court has recognized exceptions in “exigent” circumstances: For instance, when a life might be endangered, a suspect might escape or evidence might be destroyed.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2011
  2. PanBaccha

    PanBaccha New Member

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    Oh, for Pete's sake, man! I remember when there was a time when younger we would walk down the streets of New York smoking a bit of weed while police were standing at the corners. Isn't there something BIGGER the police of today should be seeking? Rather than break down a door because they smelled pot. What nonsense! Do I smoke? No I do not. But that's beside the point. :cool: Slowly but surely our rights will be watered down or simply suspended. All authorities need is a premise and a philosophical viewpoint to legitimize their actions. Always works.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2011

  3. dog2000tj

    dog2000tj New Member

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    This supposed War on Drugs justifies bloated budgets, costly equipment and military style training and tactics

    They have to show some progress :rolleyes:
     
  4. ta1588

    ta1588 New Member

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    ***Facepalm***
     
  5. dnthmn2004

    dnthmn2004 New Member

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    Ever hear of an exigent circumstance? :rolleyes:
     
  6. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    actually yes. soon as the political scum that inhabit both parties make the connection than candy makes kids fat---candy is bad----candy illegal----more they can steal in taxes to wage a war on sugar for power

    this country is almost done
     
  7. pandamonium

    pandamonium New Member

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    I had never heard the word, looked it up...

    Exigent;

    1. Demanding attention

    2.Requiring precise accuracy

    Amendment IV

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.


    IMO, if it demands attention, then a warrant must be issued. The 4th is clear, I don't see the word "exigent" in there anywhere!
     
  8. dnthmn2004

    dnthmn2004 New Member

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    Unfortunately, your opinion is wrong. Ever hear of 'case law'?
    Do some Google searching on 'warrantless search and seizure'.
     
  9. Davo45

    Davo45 New Member

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    +1

    In the Kentucky case, the marijuana smell was coming from one of two closed doors in an apartment building where officers had chased a cocaine dealer into (they knew he was a cocaine dealer because a member of their squad had just bought from him) and heard a door slam around the corner.

    They smelled burning marijuana coming from the door on the left and reasoned that a cocaine dealer may very well have gone into an apartment where someone was smoking weed, or that the dealer had been smoking weed there himself before coming outside to sell some coke.

    As LEOs, we don't make laws, the legislature (or congress in the case of federal officers) does. We may not agree with all the laws the legislative bodies pass, but we're still expected and paid to enforce them. The SCOTUS didn't "take away" anybody's constitutional rights in this ruling, they merely reaffirmed existing case law.

    I suppose those of you who've been so critical of the police on here wouldn't even want officers to force entry into your homes if a neighbor called 9-1-1 to report that they'd heard what sounded like gunfire coming from your house just after hearing glass breaking and officers found a broken window and saw two bleeding bodies on the floor (one of which might reasonably very well be yours otherwise you'd have called 9-1-1).

    I can see it now, "Let's see, we have a broken window, sounds of possible gunfire heard by the next door neighbor and can see two bleeding bodies lying in the floor, but nobody's answering the door when we knock on it and ring the door bell to give us permission to come in.....we'd better go get a warrant, oops, can't unless we can find a judge or magistrate awake (because it's 2AM, etc.)....well I hope the homeowner doesn't bleed to death before we can get a warrant because we can't violate the man's 4th Amendment rights.

    If you have a problem with the drug laws, don't gripe and complain about them on a forum, lobby your state legislature and congress to repeal them, or better yet, run for office and sponsor a bill yourself if you're elected.
     
  10. dnthmn2004

    dnthmn2004 New Member

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    Thanks for the laugh. :)
     
  11. therewolf

    therewolf New Member

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    In the case of a drug dealer, what should the interpretation of the

    4th Amendment be?

    IMO, "unreasonable searches" become "reasonable" when there's a high

    probability you're selling poison to my children...
     
  12. bkt

    bkt New Member

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    Doesn't the argument in this thread strike close to the issue of the legality/illegality of drugs, and isn't that the crux of the problem?

    If a guy wants to smoke a joint in his living room and a cop smells pot smoke wafting out the living room window, the cop should most certainly NOT be able to bust the door down and arrest the guy. It all comes back to whether or not the government has the authority to tell you what you may or may not ingest.

    On the other hand, if cops have legit reason to believe a real crime - one where someone or someone's property are at stake - is or recently has been committed and they have to bust a door down before something Really Bad[tm] happens, that's another matter.
     
  13. orangello

    orangello New Member

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    Not exactly, "wrong" is a value judgement; his opinion disagrees with current case law to the best of your knowledge. Opinions & knowledge do vary, but legality is not the same as "right", nor is illegality thesame as "wrong".



    Dead bodies DO NOT EQUAL the smell of marijuana being smoked. :rolleyes: If an officer/system can't see a distinct difference between a crime that usually ends with somebody getting a citation & a fine versus a crime that would involve the morgue, homicide investigation, and notification of the next of kin, then that is not the officer/system i would trust with my protection, nor the protection of my rights.

    You can rest assured that regardless of what the courts & system say my rights are, the rights i will defend with MY life and whatever amount of force I deem necessary will be my rights as I define them (a weee bit closer to those reiterated by the U.S. Constitution (nottheboattheotherone)).
     
  14. dnthmn2004

    dnthmn2004 New Member

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    Getting back to the original story.

    The dealer ran into an apartment building to flee the police. I know I'm running through that door to not only continue pursuit but to stop the suspect from destroying any evidence on him or in the apartment. The officers used a reasonable decision that a drug dealer went into the apartment that smelled like drugs. Enough probable cause all day, the guys weed becomes evidence after the fact and gets busted. End of story.

    It baffles my freakin mind that Ginsburg disagreed with the actions of the officers. :mad:
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2011
  15. orangello

    orangello New Member

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    I think this is the primary point of contention, and opinions vary. If a squad car chases a fleeing bank robber down my street, would it be "reasonable" for the officers to search every house with a garage? I don't think so. I also think it is heavy-handed tactics and such abuse of personal privacy and the 4th amendment that make many "regular citizens" less forthcoming/cooperative with LEO's.

    I'm baffled that i actually agree with Ginsburg.

    Of course, opinions vary as they should in a "free" society.
     
  16. Davo45

    Davo45 New Member

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    I'm afraid that as long as it remains illegal to sell, possess or manufacture certain drugs, then anyone who is in violation of those laws is "committing a crime", we aren't exactly talking about rocket science here. As soon as you can show me a "right" to manufacture, sell, possess or use a dangerous drug in the USC then and only then will I give your argument any thought.

    It isn't like the officers were just "in the area" and smelled burning/burn marijuana, they were in active pursuit of a FELONY suspect. THAT is where the distinction was made, that, and the fact that the weed smoker who was inside the apartment refused to open the door. Justice Alito opined that if he had've opened his door, told the officers there wasn't anyone else there, and exercised his 4th amendment rights by refusing them entrance until they returned with a warrant, they couldn't have entered. But, since he refused to do so, in Justice Alito's words, "He got what he deserved."
     
  17. orangello

    orangello New Member

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    Where is it in the U.S. Constitution that the government has the authority to determine what i can and cannot eat, smoke, or drink? Where is even the most general provision for the federal or any other government to limit my decision making authority in that area discussed in the U.S. Constitution?

    Alito has a good point; if we were all to simply provide the local police with duplicate keys to our homes, cars, storage houses, and bedrooms, i'm sure they would be very even-handed in their application of the law, JUST LIKE IN THE FREAKIN' SOVIET UNION, CUBA, SADAAM-ERA IRAQ, OR ANY OTHER TOTALITARIAN STATE. :rolleyes: I didn't sign up for life as a serf & have no plans to go along with such anti-American crap.
     
  18. therewolf

    therewolf New Member

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    IMO, there's a major issue here, because the same laws which might

    protect a casual pot smoker in his home, behind closed doors, can be abused

    to harbor hardened chemical pushers and dealers.

    This grey area is at the heart of the issue, and it's

    aggravated by LEOs who, as another poster put it, are,

    in many cases, "revenue collectors" trying to open a

    new can of money for their jurisdiction.
     
  19. dnthmn2004

    dnthmn2004 New Member

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    Thats a terrible comparison. If the cops are chasing a bank robber in a car down a street, they obviously can see which garage they went into. The physics of your comparison are not in the same category.

    This dealer ran around a corner of a hallway and disappeared into one of two doors. "I'm goin with the door that smells like drugs Bob."

    Lets redo the situation with a different felony, same exigent circumstance. Say the suspect murdered someone, ran down the same hallway, put a bloody hand print on his neighbors door and then went into a different apartment. Your saying the cops have no right busting down that door?
     
  20. culdee

    culdee New Member

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    exigent my ass

    Read some history besides off Google and see what rights and liberties we have already sacrificed to the war on drugs, the war on terror, the war on obesity.