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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: Burden of proof
IL: Direct appeal record isn’t adequate to determine IAC claim on failure to litigate consent search
The record doesn’t show the reason for waiving a Fourth Amendment claim against a consent search and whether a motion to suppress would have been granted if litigated. A collateral proceeding is the place to do it. People v. Williamson, … Continue reading
The defendant contended that the judge’s signature on the search warrant was false. The only testimony at the suppression hearing was that the judge signed it at home. The evidence supports the trial court’s finding. State v. Clayton, 2018-Ohio-1777, 2018 … Continue reading
Defendant’s search challenge was to a protective sweep, but not to the probable cause for the search warrant. That was a waiver of the probable cause issue. Commonwealth v. Smith, 2018 Va. App. LEXIS 115 (May 1, 2018); Commonwealth v. … Continue reading
AR: State’s failure to get ruling on GFE below bars that argument on appeal; statute on BAC penalties violates Birchfield
Arkansas’s refusal to submit to a BAC test has criminal penalties, and it violates the Fourth Amendment. The trial court’s finding of voluntary consent was decided without an evidentiary hearing and is clearly erroneous. The state’s failure to get a … Continue reading
D.Neb.: The gov’t put def on notice standing was an issue, and def didn’t respond with proof; no standing
The government argued no standing. “Despite being on notice that standing was an issue, Defendant did not introduce evidence at the suppression hearing to establish his relationship to the property searched in this case.” Going to the merits anyway, defendant … Continue reading
S.D.Ohio: This SW affidavit was adequate and different than co-def’s SW affidavit where it was suppressed
The affidavit for the search warrant as to this defendant adequately demonstrated probable cause. The fact the codefendant’s search warrant lacked probable cause isn’t binding on this search warrant. United States v. Damondo, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 57204 (S.D. Ohio … Continue reading
TX1: Search incident and inventory invalid for failing to signal; as to inventory, the inventorying officer is a necessary witness
A drug officer called a patrol officer to stop defendant. After he failed to promptly signal a turn, he was stopped, handcuffed, and his car was searched. “The search of Appellant’s vehicle incident to his arrest for failing to signal … Continue reading
A later issued search warrant doesn’t retroactively justify a stop the defense showed to be without a legal basis. The state carried the burden of proof throughout, and it could not shift the burden to the defense by the issuance … Continue reading
Defendant relied on the affidavit for search warrant as showing his standing, but it didn’t resolve the question, so he fails in his burden of proof and lacks standing. The government showed nexus in the 61 page affidavit for residences … Continue reading
Defendant disavowed the argument made on appeal in the trial court, and you just can’t do that. “Defendant failed to preserve his argument because he failed to provide the trial court with an objection, let alone ‘an explanation of his … Continue reading
The affidavit for the search warrant alleged the house was defendant’s house. The government was judicially estopped from claiming otherwise in the proceeding without real evidence the affidavit was wrong. [I’ve been arguing this for years; see Treatise § 4.03.] … Continue reading