Discussion in 'Law and Justice System' started by JBeukema, May 19, 2011.
Supreme Court: Supreme Court gives police a new entryway into homes - latimes.com
This follows established jurisprudence and so should not be a big surprise.
How many threads does JB intend to start about this (correct) ruling?
And how does someone at the front door hear a toilet flushing???
Bad procedure and faulty leadership makes bad legal decisions. Nobody invites a police invasion when they flush their toilet. We know that but that having been said if the police are chasing a suspect in a narcotics case and he enters an apartment and the toilet starts flushing ...you get what you expect.
I'm a pretty big civil libertarian, but this ruling just sounds like common sense to me. Of course, if we weren't blowing billions of dollars a year on arresting people for doing what they want to their own bodies then we wouldn't need to worry about this in the first place.
You can do all kinds of things to your own bodies including killing yourself in the privacy of your own home or making enough noxious alcoholic home brew to put yourself in the loony bin but you can't posess certain chemical compounds without a prescription. Most sane people understand this concept and accept it.
Has anyone even bothered to read the ruling?
From the decision:
"[Officer] Gibbons had radioed that the suspect was running into the apartment on the right, but the officers did not hear this statement because they had already left their vehicles. Because they smelled marijuana smoke emanating from the apartment on the left, they approached the door of that apartment."
Unbelievable - agents of the state weren’t even at the correct door.
"Cobb said that “[a]s soon as [the officers]started banging on the door,” they “could hear people inside moving,” and “t sounded as [though] things were being moved inside the apartment.” Id., at 24. These noises, Cobb testified, led the officers to believe that drug related evidence was about to be destroyed."
They might also be led to believe that the occupants could be rearranging the furniture, having sex, or watching television.
This in no way constitutes ‘exigent circumstances,’ and it was indeed possible that the police banging on the wrong door would qualify as a police-induced ‘emergency,’ which may not be used as a reason to enter a private dwelling without a warrant.
Yes, this is now the Law of the Land, it must be obeyed and in theory the ruling is without error. But let’s hope in 30 to 50 years from now a wiser, less fearful Court will overturn this decision.
The ruling for those interested:
Well, we learned one thing. Flushing your toilet DOES NOT negate your 4th Amendment rights. Police officers chasing a subject into a building and smelling marijuana (no dispute about their sense of smell) and hearing the toilet flush authorized them to enter the apartment by force after the occupants refused to open the door. Seems simple enough unless you visualize yourself in a marijuana haze sometime. Poor pot heads. They can't seem to catch a break these days.
Seeing as Ginsberg was the lone dissenter (not surprised really), I would have loved to see Kagan or the "Wise Latina" write the courts opinion but no dice, it was Alito.
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