- S.D.Ga.: CI information was a little stale, but the officer’s corroroboration was with current information and that overcame staleness
- DE: A visitor’s car parked outside a house being raided wasn’t enough to search it; here, however, the keys were found next to heroin inside, and that was enough
- IA: Stopping behind a car parked with brake lights on on a country road at 1 am was reasonable under the community caretaking function
- Slate: Sotomayor, Fourth Amendment Visionary
- HotAir: Justice Gorsuch’s fascinating, constitutional dissent in Carpenter
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"If it was easy, everybody would be doing it. It isn't, and they don't."
“I am still learning.”
—Domenico Giuntalodi (but misattributed to Michelangelo Buonarroti (common phrase throughout 1500's)).
"Love work; hate mastery over others; and avoid intimacy with the government."
—Shemaya, in the Thalmud
"A system of law that not only makes certain conduct criminal, but also lays down rules for the conduct of the authorities, often becomes complex in its application to individual cases, and will from time to time produce imperfect results, especially if one's attention is confined to the particular case at bar. Some criminals do go free because of the necessity of keeping government and its servants in their place. That is one of the costs of having and enforcing a Bill of Rights. This country is built on the assumption that the cost is worth paying, and that in the long run we are all both freer and safer if the Constitution is strictly enforced."
—Williams v. Nix, 700 F. 2d 1164, 1173 (8th Cir. 1983) (Richard Sheppard Arnold, J.), rev'd Nix v. Williams, 467 US. 431 (1984).
"The criminal goes free, if he must, but it is the law that sets him free. Nothing can destroy a government more quickly than its failure to observe its own laws, or worse, its disregard of the charter of its own existence."
—Mapp v. Ohio, 367 U.S. 643, 659 (1961).
"Any costs the exclusionary rule are costs imposed directly by the Fourth Amendment."
—Yale Kamisar, 86 Mich.L.Rev. 1, 36 n. 151 (1987).
"There have been powerful hydraulic pressures throughout our history that bear heavily on the Court to water down constitutional guarantees and give the police the upper hand. That hydraulic pressure has probably never been greater than it is today."
— Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 39 (1968) (Douglas, J., dissenting).
"The great end, for which men entered into society, was to secure their property."
—Entick v. Carrington, 19 How.St.Tr. 1029, 1066, 95 Eng. Rep. 807 (C.P. 1765)
"It is a fair summary of history to say that the safeguards of liberty have frequently been forged in controversies involving not very nice people. And so, while we are concerned here with a shabby defrauder, we must deal with his case in the context of what are really the great themes expressed by the Fourth Amendment."
—United States v. Rabinowitz, 339 U.S. 56, 69 (1950) (Frankfurter, J., dissenting)
"The course of true law pertaining to searches and seizures, as enunciated here, has not–to put it mildly–run smooth."
—Chapman v. United States, 365 U.S. 610, 618 (1961) (Frankfurter, J., concurring).
"A search is a search, even if it happens to disclose nothing but the bottom of a turntable."
—Arizona v. Hicks, 480 U.S. 321, 325 (1987)
"For the Fourth Amendment protects people, not places. What a person knowingly exposes to the public, even in his own home or office, is not a subject of Fourth Amendment protection. ... But what he seeks to preserve as private, even in an area accessible to the public, may be constitutionally protected."
—Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347, 351 (1967)
“Experience should teach us to be most on guard to protect liberty when the Government’s purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.”
—United States v. Olmstead, 277 U.S. 438, 479 (1925) (Brandeis, J., dissenting)
“Liberty—the freedom from unwarranted intrusion by government—is as easily lost through insistent nibbles by government officials who seek to do their jobs too well as by those whose purpose it is to oppress; the piranha can be as deadly as the shark.”
—United States v. $124,570, 873 F.2d 1240, 1246 (9th Cir. 1989)
"You can't always get what you want / But if you try sometimes / You just might find / You get what you need."
—Mick Jagger & Keith Richards
"In Germany, they first came for the communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Catholic. Then they came for me–and by that time there was nobody left to speak up."
—Martin Niemöller (1945) [he served seven years in a concentration camp]
“You know, most men would get discouraged by now. Fortunately for you, I am not most men!”"The point of the Fourth Amendment, which often is not grasped by zealous officers, is not that it denies law enforcement the support of the usual inferences which reasonable men draw from evidence. Its protection consists in requiring that those inferences be drawn by a neutral and detached magistrate instead of being judged by the officer engaged in the often competitive enterprise of ferreting out crime."
---Pepé Le Pew
—Johnson v. United States, 333 U.S. 10, 13-14 (1948)
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Category Archives: Plain view, feel, smell
D.Conn.: “observation of a small amount of marijuana not clearly labelled for medicinal use creates probable cause that evidence of illegal drug activity would be found within the car”
“Because Officer Diaz had reason to believe that a gun would be found within the Defendant’s car prior to the stop, his observation of a small amount of marijuana not clearly labelled for medicinal use creates probable cause that evidence … Continue reading
KS declines to decide whether odor of MJ on the person is PC because here there was more than just that
Defendant didn’t dim headlights and officers stopped the car suspecting inattentive driving. The smell of marijuana coming from the car was obvious. “We decline the State’s offer to embark on a new legal proposition that would allow Kansas law enforcement … Continue reading
D.Nev.: Despite legalization of recreational marijuana, smell of burnt marijuana in car is RS for detention for impaired driving
Despite the fact the Clark County DA announced they were no longer prosecuting ½ ounce or less marijuana cases along with voters adopting decriminalization of recreational marijuana, defendant’s detention for sleeping in his car in the middle of the Flamingo … Continue reading
The Salem inventory policy requires inventory of closed containers that might have something valuable in them. In defendant’s backpack was a nylon case which the officer believed might contain a computer harddrive or a computer gaming device. The inventory was … Continue reading
OH8: Dog sniff that didn’t extend traffic stop at all because it was done by another officer was reasonable
The exclusionary rule applies to forfeiture actions (One 1958 Plymouth Sedan) despite the state’s argument. The dog sniff during the normal processing was part of the stop. “Police may conduct a canine sniff during the time that it takes to … Continue reading
By choosing to live in the same house with a probationer, one has a diminished expectation of privacy in the common areas of one’s abode. In a probation search of the other occupant, defendant objected to the entry, but it … Continue reading
The officer had reasonable suspicion to frisk defendant, and the drugs in his pocket were discovered by plain feel. United States v. Graves, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 25157 (3d Cir. Dec. 13, 2017). Smell of marijuana during a traffic stop … Continue reading
S.D.Ga.: Def shooting victim’s clothes could be seized from ER floor as plain view or because of exigency
Defendant arrived at a hospital ER after he was shot. His clothing was cut off him and on the floor, and the officer’s seizure was valid because it was in plain view and had clear evidentiary value from blood and … Continue reading
OH8: Anonymous call about drug dealing from car led officers to defendants; smell of burning MJ led to valid search of car
The officer received an anonymous call about drug deals being done from a car in a shopping center parking lot. He pulled up to a parked car to check it out and it was occupied and smelled of burning marijuana. … Continue reading
Defendant was making methamphetamine in his garage, and he overdosed on heroin. His mother found him and called 911. A narcotics officer arrived shortly before EMS, and he saw defendant on the floor with a used syringe near him. EMS … Continue reading