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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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Daily Archives: March 24, 2020
VT: Traffic stop devolved into drug investigation without RS; delay was because officers intentionally didn’t complete the tasks of the stop
This traffic stop led to defendant being cited for driving on a suspended DL, but the officers were going to let him get someone to come and retrieve the keys from their office. The officer turned it into a drug … Continue reading
FL1: Officers crossing protected lands to get to unprotected lands to make a plain view doesn’t justify exclusion
“Police entered protected property to get to unprotected property to make an observation in open fields. That prior unlawful intrusion doesn’t justify exclusion. “Florida law is relatively clear whether to suppress evidence discovered on a person’s property during an officer’s … Continue reading
E.D.Va.: MJ in def’s car doesn’t, ipso facto, translate into PC he has drugs at his house nearby; GFE can’t apply
Defendant was stopped for failing to stop at a stop sign. When officers approached the car, “Officer Torrez saw a partially open bag, in plain view on the floor board, containing marijuana. This also provided the officers with probable cause … Continue reading
FL2: Direct contempt for refusing to provide passcode for cell phone search reversed; out-of-court evidence couldn’t be considered
Defendant was held in contempt and sentenced to five months and 29 days for refusing to provide the passcode for his cell phone so it could be searched under a warrant. “However, whether a finding of contempt could have been … Continue reading
Two search warrants were issued May 28 & 29, 2019. They were both issued with probable cause, they weren’t stale, and the second did not supersede the first. No case supports this latter argument. United States v. Atkins, 2020 U.S. … Continue reading
“The lack of a video under these circumstances is not a basis for rejecting the Magistrate Judge’s credibility finding.” Defendant’s becoming loud and obnoxious when asked to leave justified a frisk. United States v. Tymes, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 47638 … Continue reading
Defendant argues the inventory was really investigatory. He doesn’t claim anything was missing or lost. He also was on someone else’s property at 5 am, so there was no need to leave it there because the owner couldn’t assent, assuming … Continue reading
WaPo: Smartphone data reveal which Americans are social distancing (and not) by Geoffrey A. Fowler (“D.C. gets an ‘A’ while Wyoming earns an ‘F’ for following coronavirus stay-at-home advice, based on the locations of tens of millions of phones”):
Even if the officer presumed defendant was in legal possession of cannabis pursuant to Illinois MMJ Act, the facts established probable cause that evidence of a crime was in the vehicle. The officer saw a loose “bud” in the backseat … Continue reading