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Old 06-15-2006, 04:59 PM   #1
fuzzycuffs
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News *knock knock* Who's there? j/k We're the police with a warrant!

http://www.cnn.com/2006/LAW/06/15/scotus.search.ap/

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

Alito's vote breaks 4-4 tie in police search case

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."
CN: Police with a warrant used to have to knock first. Now they can just bust down your door.

Thought this was interesting, and deserved more of an audience outside of PP. I'm not sure how I feel about this, as warrants are really interesting things. If police dramas have taught me anything is that getting a warrant is really more based on the judge than the evidence behind it.
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Old 06-15-2006, 05:01 PM   #2
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i cant wait to see them do this on COPS
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Old 06-15-2006, 05:01 PM   #3
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Agreed, this was on CNN earlier and I to am not sure how to feel about this.
Some folks want the Miranda Act reversed as well.

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Old 06-15-2006, 05:01 PM   #4
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What the hell? That is not cool.
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Old 06-15-2006, 05:01 PM   #5
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A knock is just a warning to flush your evidence or get a head start running.
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Old 06-15-2006, 05:02 PM   #6
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One reason they implemented this was to reduce time for suspects to either flush evidence, run or arm them selves.
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Old 06-15-2006, 05:03 PM   #7
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I don't know enough about how things REALLY work (outside of TV cop shows like you), but my gut tells me this is a good thing. I've seen lots of episodes of Cops where they get there just as the bad guys flushed the drugs down the toilet. A few seconds head start might mean that they bust a few more baddies.

If they're coming in anyway, I guess it doesn't seem to make much difference to me whether they knock or not.
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Old 06-15-2006, 05:04 PM   #8
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I'm going to have to side with the court on this one.

Quote:
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?"
The policy is that the warrant must be obtained, and those don't just come out of cereal boxes. Ergo, IMO, if a warrant is in hand, and officers believe that annoucing themselves could put them at risk, knock that door door.
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Old 06-15-2006, 05:05 PM   #9
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Livingroom commodes ftw
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Old 06-15-2006, 05:06 PM   #10
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scalia's a smart dude.

I mean really. They are going to serve the warrant anyways, what's 30 less seconds (I don't know exactly how many seconds they actually were required to wait with no answer)?
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Old 06-15-2006, 05:07 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beachbum
...If they're coming in anyway, I guess it doesn't seem to make much difference to me whether they knock or not.
On 'Dallas SWAT' a few weekly episodes back the jump out boys rolled in and hooked up a hook & line to a guys barred living room window (there to defeat intruders) and they wind up pulling his _entire wall_ off of the house!

I swear to Jeebus I was rollin'!!!!

They didn't expect that to happen but eh whatever they got Smokey & Craig.
Even still though damn what if they were just renters or some such?
Do they sell whole house walls at Home Depot?
The gave a warnign knock like 1 second before ripping his crib up.

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Old 06-15-2006, 05:07 PM   #12
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"STOP BREAKING THE LAW *******!" - Fletcher
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Old 06-15-2006, 05:08 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janq
On 'Dallas SWAT' a few weekly episodes back the jump out boys rolled in and hooked up a hook & line to a guys barred living room window (there to defeat intruders) and they wind up pulling his _entire wall_ off of the house!

I swear to Jeebus I was rollin'!!!!

They didn't expect that to happen but eh whatever they got Smokey & Craig.
Even still though damn what if they were just renters or some such?
Do they sell whole house walls at Home Depot?

- Janq
I'd pay to see the look on dude's face.

probably a lot like this ----->
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Old 06-15-2006, 05:08 PM   #14
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As an ex-cop I agree with it and yet as an ex-cop I would have never executed a search warrant with out announcing myself loudly and clearly. The reasoning is that if I were at home and someone came and break down my door un-announced I would feel I had to defend my home. This opens up the possibility for cops to be fired upon by home-owners who know nothing more than what they are hearing which in turn is just loud noise by lots of people yelling a screaming. I'd almost have to say that the home owners would have the right to open fire. Of course the argument will be that in order for a home owner, who is in fear of his life and property, to fire upon those entering he/she would have to make visual contact and identify his/her targets before firing. This how ever also opens up the scenario of a search warrant being executed, and while the police enter the home they find a person (the home owner) holding a gun pointed in their direction waiting to make visual contact with his/her target. I was trained that if someone goes to point a weapon at me don't wait for them to possibly shoot and drop them there, so in this scenario I see the cops killing the person pointing the gun at them.

I don't know, stupid ruling and yet I agree with it, would not practice it though.
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Old 06-15-2006, 05:09 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jump Off
What the hell? That is not cool.

Hmm, after re-reading the article, I think it won't matter, either way the warrant will be served, gives the police some extra time. If they are busting down the door anyways, who cares if the knock.

and lol @ the wall coming down I bet the swat team was like
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Old 06-15-2006, 05:10 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janq
Do they sell whole house walls at Home Depot?
Yeah, brick ones.

Marijuana and cocaine bricks, though.
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Old 06-15-2006, 05:10 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mms4ba
I'd pay to see the look on dude's face.

probably a lot like this ----->
He was asleep.
But I tell you it was funny as hell!!!
The cops were even like WT**** just happened as they rolled into his livingroom.

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Old 06-15-2006, 05:10 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janq
On 'Dallas SWAT' a few weekly episodes back the jump out boys rolled in and hooked up a hook & line to a guys barred living room window (there to defeat intruders) and they wind up pulling his _entire wall_ off of the house!

I swear to Jeebus I was rollin'!!!!

They didn't expect that to happen but eh whatever they got Smokey & Craig.
Even still though damn what if they were just renters or some such?
Do they sell whole house walls at Home Depot?
The gave a warnign knock like 1 second before ripping his crib up.

- Janq
I saw that one too ... very good show.
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Old 06-15-2006, 05:11 PM   #19
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Is the dept of Homeland Security considered police and therefore can abide by this rule?
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Old 06-15-2006, 05:11 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrickyDik
As an ex-cop I agree with it and yet as an ex-cop I would have never executed a search warrant with out announcing myself loudly and clearly. The reasoning is that if I were at home and someone came and break down my door un-announced I would feel I had to defend my home. This opens up the possibility for cops to be fired upon by home-owners who know nothing more than what they are hearing which in turn is just loud noise by lots of people yelling a screaming. I'd almost have to say that the home owners would have the right to open fire. Of course the argument will be that in order for a home owner, who is in fear of his life and property, to fire upon those entering he/she would have to make visual contact and identify his/her targets before firing. This how ever also opens up the scenario of a search warrant being executed, and while the police enter the home they find a person (the home owner) holding a gun pointed in their direction waiting to make visual contact with his/her target. I was trained that if someone goes to point a weapon at me don't wait for them to possibly shoot and drop them there, so in this scenario I see the cops killing the person pointing the gun at them.

I don't know, stupid ruling and yet I agree with it, would not practice it though.
Yeah, that is an interesting point. I mean, if dude is hanging out on his couch watching the NBA finals and has his glock next to him because he lives in a crappy neighborhood, I could imagine he's a little trigger happy when someone busts open his front door with a battering ram without saying "hey guess what dude, we're the police!"
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Old 06-15-2006, 05:12 PM   #21
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Don't worry about it, it's only the constitution, and our personal freedoms.
AO
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Old 06-15-2006, 05:13 PM   #22
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I think they will start yelling the second they start on the door, they used to have to wait 30 seconds at least before. The article talks about wating 3 seconds and the was not enough.
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Old 06-15-2006, 05:13 PM   #23
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I think this will have a bigger effect than people anticipate with the deployment of new technology by L.E. As Tricky said, police want the homeowner to know that they are police--even if they show up by surprise--for reasons he clearly laid out.

Now consider a scenario where the police know (via yummy technology) that the wanted person is in room X, and is not armed. They then have the option to announce or bust in. If they believe the wanted person will try to reach a weapon if he knows there are cops outside, they may choose to go in gangbusters.
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Old 06-15-2006, 05:15 PM   #24
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There's a few sides to this and I'm leaning on both sides.

1. I think it's good for police as it doesn't give perps the opportunity to destroy evidence/arm themselves.

2. Do persons who get their door's busted down, house ran-sacked and property destroyed get reimbursed if it turns out they've done nothing wrong.

3. What if you shot a cop that busted into your house? If they're not announcing their presence and someone just breaks into your house, what's to say you couldn't shoot them thinking they were an intruder?

edit: I guess #3 was covered.
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Old 06-15-2006, 05:15 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m750
Don't worry about it, it's only the constitution, and our personal freedoms.
AO
If they were to say "no warrant necessary" it'd be another thing all together. But in this case, the only right being trampled on is the right to not be startled.
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