U.S. high court limits police on car searches

Discussion in 'Law and Justice System' started by strollingbones, Apr 22, 2009.

  1. strollingbones
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    strollingbones Diamond Member

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    The Supreme Court on Tuesday sharply limited the power of police to search a suspect's car after making an arrest, acknowledging that the decision changes a rule that law enforcement has relied on for nearly 30 years.


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    In a decision written by Justice John Paul Stevens, an unusual five-member majority said police may search a vehicle without a warrant only when the suspect could reach for a weapon or try to destroy evidence, or when it is "reasonable to believe" there is evidence in the car supporting the crime at hand.

    The justices noted that law enforcement for years has interpreted the court's rulings on warrantless car searches to mean that officers may search the passenger compartment of a vehicle as part of a lawful arrest of a suspect. But Stevens said that was a misreading of the court's decision in New York vs. Belton in 1981.

    "Blind adherence to Belton's faulty assumption would authorize myriad unconstitutional searches," Stevens said, adding that the court's tradition of honoring past decisions did not bind it to continue such a view of the law.

    "The doctrine of stare decisis does not require us to approve routine constitutional violations."

    Stevens was joined by two of his most liberal colleagues - Justices David Souter and Ruth Bader Ginsburg - and two of his most conservative - Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.

    The decision overturned a three-year prison sentence for Arizonan Rodney Gant, who had been convicted of cocaine possession. Police found the drug in a search of his car after his arrest for driving with a suspended license. Gant had walked away from his car when he was arrested, and he sat handcuffed a distance away while police searched his vehicle.

    "Police could not reasonably have believed either that Gant could have accessed his car at the time of the search or that evidence of the offense for which he was arrested might have been found therein," Stevens wrote.

    Justice Samuel Alito, writing for the four dissenters, said the court's insistence that its precedents had been misinterpreted was simply a cover for getting rid of a decision with which it disagreed.

    He said the replacement of what had been an easy-to-understand "bright line" rule for police "is virtually certain to confuse law enforcement officers and judges for some time to come."


    full article:

    U.S. high court limits police on car searches


    and your opine would be?


    :clap2::clap2::clap2::clap2: is mine
     
  2. Mad Scientist
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    Mad Scientist Deplorable Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    So instead of the cops finding your dope when they arrest you, they'll find it when they tow it and do an inventory on it later.

    No problem.
     
  3. Bfgrn
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    Bfgrn Gold Member

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    I hope this is true. Too many police officers will stop someone (usually a teen) for bogus reasons, then call in the dogs...

    Thugs with badges...
     
  4. RetiredGySgt
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    RetiredGySgt Platinum Member

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    Never understood the idea they had free reign to look anywhere except what was in PLAIN SIGHT. Not a problem for me, if I have a weapon in the car it will be out and visible to any officer stopping me AND I will tell him it is there. Did that one night around 10pm got pulled over for running a yellow light. Put the weapon on the passenger seat, but knew he wasn't gonna see it and sure as hell didn't want him panicking if he did finally see it.

    He made me get out and patted me down, then ask why I told him. I explained I was taught to always tell an officer you had a weapon so they would not be surprised if they found it some other way and that I knew how stressful their job could be and dangerous. He didn't even ticket me.
     
  5. editec
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    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

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    Let's see...the boys who were my former wards have probably gotten their car searched three time in the last couple months.

    They get stopped for driving while young, and then the cops search their car without a warrant.

    Howard Zinn said one thing that stuck with me because it was so obvious, yet so seldom noted.

    The Supreme Court does NOT decide what you rights are in REAL LIFE.

    In REAL life, the cop on the beat, your boss, and your landlord decide what your rights are.

    The Courts only decide what they might be AFTER the fact and only if you have the time and the energy and the money to go to court.

    Now I KNOW that those boys right are violated routinely.

    So do they.

    And people wonder why kids have no respect for the law?

    Respect is a TWO WAY STREET.

    And HERE's something to ponder...if the COPS don't respect the law, why should anyone else?
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2009
  6. RetiredGySgt
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    RetiredGySgt Platinum Member

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    Dumb Ass whining baby, IT WAS the LAW. Get over the fact YOU broke the law and got caught.
     
  7. Bfgrn
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    Bfgrn Gold Member

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    True... and IF you are arrested, even falsely, you WILL be charged with something by the courts...judges don't let people OFF, it reflects poorly on the "tough on crime" mantra they run for re-election on. The least you will get is a 6 month ACD... (all charges dropped)... but it STAYS on your record and if you are arrested a second time within the terms of the ACD, you're fucked...

    Thugs with badges AND robes...
     
  8. Ravi
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    Ravi Diamond Member

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    Mine, too. This is good news.
     
  9. strollingbones
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    strollingbones Diamond Member

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    when i carried a little 25....i had to put it on the passengers seat....when pulled ....i kept my hands on the wheel in real clear vision and the first thing i said...was ...officier to my right is a loaded .25 ...would you like for me to get out of the car...that was normally what they liked...but that was the way i was taught to do it...just like sgt...o and the officier always was so kind...he would even open the door for me...making sure i didnt need to move my hands out of his sight....i was never pulled with two of us in the car...but i think the rules were the same....unconcealed and inform the officier right away...it was never the 2nd or 3rd sentance out of your mouth...but the first one..

    fuck em ..its my car..they should not be able to run damn dogs thru my car at road blocks or search my car...
     

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