- D.Nev.: Affidavits for SWs don’t have to prove the underlying crimes
- D.V.I.: Flyover of curtilage from navigable airspace was reasonable
- NJ: Disputes in the facts on appeal show trial court should have held a hearing
- NY: Second SW for phone a year later after first SW failed to show PC wasn’t timely
- GA: Not objecting to mention of “probation” search at trial was not IAC
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by John Wesley Hall
Criminal Defense Lawyer and
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Little Rock, Arkansas
Contact: forhall @ aol.com / The Book
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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
"It is a pleasant world we live in, sir, a very pleasant world. There are bad people in it, Mr. Richard, but if there were no bad people, there would be no good lawyers."
—Charles Dickens, “The Old Curiosity Shop ... With a Frontispiece. From a Painting by Geo. Cattermole, Etc.” 255 (1848)
"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: Body cameras
CA4: Failure to turn on bodycam before frisk not shown to be in bad faith
Officer’s failure to turn on his bodycam before frisk here doesn’t require an adverse inference of destruction of evidence. Bad faith isn’t shown. United States v. Aguirre-Cuenca, 2023 U.S. App. LEXIS 1105 (4th Cir. Jan. 18, 2023). Defendant’s appeal is … Continue reading
E.D.Mich.: No sanction for automatic purge of bodycam video of this raid
The raid in this case was recorded on bodycams but the official retention policy at the time was to hold video for only 60 days unless it was flagged to be kept despite the fact that cases take longer than … Continue reading
Reason: How Body-Worn Cameras Are Changing Fourth Amendment Law
Reason: How Body-Worn Cameras Are Changing Fourth Amendment Law by Orin Kerr (“A subtle change, but a real one.”):
CA9: Absolute immunity for DA advising on a SW application
A DA advising police on a second search warrant was prosecutorial, not investigatory, for immunity purposes. Haworth v. City of Walla Walla, 2022 U.S. App. LEXIS 21370 (9th Cir. Aug. 2, 2022). Local court rule for drug testing of bailbondsman … Continue reading
Reason: A SWAT Team Wrongfully Raided Her Home. Now Cops Say Footage From the Raid Is Private Since No One Was Killed.
Reason: A SWAT Team Wrongfully Raided Her Home. Now Cops Say Footage From the Raid Is Private Since No One Was Killed, by Elizabeth Nolan Brown (“In May 2020, a SWAT team burst into the Raleigh, North Carolina, home that … Continue reading
Penn Live: Opinion: The concrete effects of body cameras on police accountability
Penn Live: Opinion: The concrete effects of body cameras on police accountability (“We are criminologists and economists, and our recent study has found that providing police officers with body cameras has a substantive effect on investigations of police accountability. The … Continue reading
Gothamist: Judge Tosses Staten Island Man’s Conviction Following NYPD Drug Planting Allegations
Gothamist: Judge Tosses Staten Island Man’s Conviction Following NYPD Drug Planting Allegations by George Joseph (“In a court decision on Friday, a Staten Island judge vacated a man’s 2018 conviction, citing body camera footage which appears to show an NYPD … Continue reading
NYT: When Police Lie, the Innocent Pay. Some Are Fighting Back.
NYT: When Police Lie, the Innocent Pay. Some Are Fighting Back. (“Video from body cameras, doorbells and cellphones is revealing discrepancies between what police officers report and what actually happened.”)
WaPo: DoJ to allow local police to wear body cameras on federal task forces
WaPo: Justice Department to allow local police to wear body cameras on federal task forces (“But federal officers and agents in FBI, ATF, DEA and U.S. Marshals still will not wear cameras”)
NJ.com: Murphy vetoes bills requiring cops to use body cameras, citing cost and privacy concerns
NJ.com: Murphy vetoes bills requiring cops to use body cameras, citing cost and privacy concerns by Blake Nelson (“Gov. Phil Murphy says he won’t sign two bills expanding the use of police body cameras unless lawmakers made several changes.”)
CO: cert. gr.: Whether cell phone details beyond number obtained by illegal arrest should be suppressed; or, is cell phone number particular enough?
“Whether the court of appeals erred in determining that the warrant to search Petitioner’s cell phone and supporting affidavit satisfied the Fourth Amendment’s particularity requirement, where all descriptive information about the phone except the telephone number was obtained as a … Continue reading
NPR: Police Body Cam Footage Is Being Used For Surveillance, Activists Say
NPR: Police Body Cam Footage Is Being Used For Surveillance, Activists Say by Heather Van Blokland (“Police reform bills from both parties include requirements for police body cameras. The ACLU and others worry camera footage might be used for inappropriate … Continue reading
Louisville Courier Journal: Two articles on no knock SWs
Louisville Courier Journal: Rand Paul says no-knock warrants ‘should be forbidden’ in wake of Breonna Taylor shooting by Phillip M. Bailey (“‘No one should lose their life in pursuit of a crime without a victim, and “no-knock” warrants should be … Continue reading
CA11: Officer reasonably mistook dog’s whimper inside for person in distress; entry valid
“The major question presented on appeal is whether it was reasonable for officers, mistaking a dog’s whimper for a person in distress, to enter Evans’s home without a warrant. Given the totality of the circumstances, we say yes.” United States … Continue reading
WaPo: Axon rolls out the next level of police technology: Live-streaming body cameras
WaPo: Axon rolls out the next level of police technology: Live-streaming body cameras by Tom Jackman (“Cincinnati is the first city to equip its force with cameras that turn on automatically when guns or Tasers are drawn, letting commanders see … Continue reading
AP: South Bend OKs random inspections for body camera footage
AP: South Bend OKs random inspections for body camera footage (“A new policy adopted in the wake of a black man’s fatal shooting by a white South Bend police officer calls for random inspections of officers’ body camera footage and … Continue reading
NY Daily News: Opinion: Unready for their closeup: The NYPD’s body camera problem
NY Daily News: Opinion: Unready for their closeup: The NYPD’s body camera problem (“Last month, outgoing Police Commissioner Jimmy O’Neill quietly released two pages of long-awaited guidelines outlining how and when video from body cameras all cops now wear shall … Continue reading