Send comments, tips,
and suggestions to:
DrugWarRant
Join us on Pete's couch.
couch

DrugWarRant.com, the longest running single-issue blog devoted to drug policy, is published by the Prohibition Isn't Free Foundation
facebooktwitterrss
May 2011
M T W T F S S
« Apr   Jun »
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031  

Archives

Authors

Fourth Amendment not valid if police say they thought they heard something.

The latest from the Supremes

(WASHINGTON) — The Supreme Court on Monday ruled against a Kentucky man who was arrested after police burst into his apartment without a search warrant because they smelled marijuana and feared he was trying to get rid of incriminating evidence.

Voting 8-1, the justices reversed a Kentucky Supreme Court ruling that threw out the evidence gathered when officers entered Hollis King’s apartment.

The court said there was no violation of King’s constitutional rights because the police acted reasonably. Only Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dissented.

Officers knocked on King’s door in Lexington and thought they heard noises that indicated whoever was inside was trying to get rid of incriminating evidence.

Justice Samuel Alito said in his opinion for the court that people have no obligation to respond to the knock or, if they do open the door, allow the police to come in. In those cases, officers who wanted to gain entry would have to persuade a judge to issue a search warrant.

But Alito said, “Occupants who choose not to stand on their constitutional rights but instead elect to attempt to destroy evidence have only themselves to blame.”

In her dissent, Ginsburg said her colleagues were giving police an easy way to routinely avoid getting warrants in drug cases. “Police officers may now knock, listen, then break the door down, never mind that they had ample time to obtain a warrant,” she said.

Now even the noises of getting up to answer the knock on the door could be interpreted by police as an attempt to destroy evidence, allowing them to enter without a warrant (making Alito’s pathetic excuses irrelevant).

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon

24 comments to Fourth Amendment not valid if police say they thought they heard something.

  • darkcycle

    Well. The previous post, the news out of Indiana, now this. Seems the shooting war has started.

  • Buc

    Long story short: there is no need for search warrants for anything anymore.

    • Maria

      Sums it up succinctly. It has been like that for a while, depending on what section of society you find yourself in, so I guess this is just a formality. The official sign off, if you will. Even if it’s challenged the foot has been wedged firmly in place.


      Mr. Smith gives a rousing speech before the nights exiting festivities.

      “Go! Have fun! Frolic amongst the people! Remember, they are not really your neighbors or friends. They are bad, bad monsters! They are meanies! Boys and girls, do you know why they are bad? They are bad because they are not doing what I ask them to do when I ask them to do it. Can you believe that? Isn’t that just the awfullest? They are not behaving. And the most important thing in the world is to behave. Why wouldn’t you want to? You get a gold star when you do! Here’s a gold star for you, and you, and you. You’ve all kept your hair and shoes so clean!”

      “So here you go sweeties, have some fun toys as a reward! You’ve been SO helpful. With these toys you’ll be the coolest kids on the block. All the other kids are just jealous. That’s why they diss you and make fun of your hats. Aren’t these toys great? They make noise, and sparks, and funny smells, and explody sounds! And they set fire to things. Aren’t they just super rad? Only you should get to have toys as cool as this!”

      “Well, you and these super nice contractors and private soldiers who would like to tag along. Do you kids mind? There’s room in the club house for them. I renovated a whole dilapidated section just to keep all their awesome toys dry. They might even share some f them with you! I’ve let them know it’s ok. Wouldn’t that be fun? They want to help you out during your games! Isn’t that nice? Isn’t that super? We’re going to have the bestest team on the block! The coolest toys, the cleanest shoes. All the other kids will be SO jealous!”

      “I’ve got some sad news though. We’ve ran out of milk and cookies. But I’ve got good news as well! You can find whole bags and bottles full in that house over there. And that one there. And over there. How do I know? A little birdy told me. It also told me that those people in that house don’t deserve their cookies because they have been BAD. You trust my little birdies right? You don’t want to make my little birdies sad do you? My little birdies are always looking for the bestest cookies around!”

      “So, go! Get a little dirty! Have fun! And don’t you worry my loyal little things. I’ll take care of the mess!”

  • Buc

    From the article: “The case concerned exceptions to the Fourth Amendment requirement that police need a warrant to enter a home.”

    Ha, always looking for exceptions to that tricky 4th amendment that makes them work.

  • Paul

    Everything the police do is reasonable. The can do anything they want any time they want to anyone they want. We’ve got 2.4 million in jails and prisons now to prove it.

    I’ve been living Vietnam now for 10 years, and I recently found out that this “communist authoritarian police state” has only 30,000 people in jail out of a population of 85 million. To go to jail in Vietnam, you’ve actually got to DO something worthy of it.

    Tell me, which country is more free?

  • C.E.

    The Fourth Amendment is like a devoutly religious uncle: everyone admires it in principle, but whenever it shows up, everyone suddenly has something important to attend to.

  • Scott

    Our Supreme Court operates at the front line in the effective public servant revolution against the limits of power established in our Constitution.

    This revolution has continued for over two centuries now, and the success against the people who are not in power in the public and private sectors (i.e. the effective oligarchy) continues to grow.

    Stability is all about balance. For a nation to remain stable, there must be a balance of power, the most important of which is the balance between the aforementioned oligarchy and everyone else.

    Everyone else has been trained to allow the revolution to proceed for the benefit of society. Sure there are rebels against the revolution, but their minority status only serves to slow it down at best.

    And so the oppression, due to the absence of the main balance of power, will continue to weigh against the masses, building up more and more.

    Then, when the masses can no longer take it, the backlash will be unleashed (a revolution against the revolution).

  • tintguy

    So now alongside that throw-away weapon that the “good guys” carry in case they shoot an unarmed person they’ll have a smell kit at the ready for those pesky closed doors.
    ———————————————————
    “Well your honor, I walked past the door and smelled pot, knocked lightly and gently said I am the police will you please open the door when sounds from the apartment indicated the occupants were feeding the evidence to a ferrocious animal so I had no choice but to kick the door in. I saw what apperaed to be a bazooka (it turned out to be a 4 foot waterpipe)pointed at me so I killed so in self-defence I killed 5 people in 3 different rooms plus the 2 poodles that musthave already digested the evidence and this half burned joint proves it!

  • tintguy

    Justice Alito: Pfft! It was only dopers and they only have themselves to blame

  • Malcolm Kyle

    47 comments and 4 weeks later:

    War on Drugs: Tremendous Harm to Our Rights and Liberties

    “I dont care if it kills on the first injection! What I do care about is if they live and and I have to pay to keep some dumbass alive for the next fifty years after he’s rendered himself stupid or lazy.” – shawninMo April 21, 2011 5:36AM

    “That crime wave is funded by users that choose to buy from violent groups. Prohibition doesnt mean you have to buy them bullets. It was your choice to do so, so that’s on you. Buy seeds and lamps instead.” – shawninMo April 22, 2011 12:30PM

  • David Marsh

    This is not a new ruling. There are three long standing justifications for a warrantless entry and search. They are “emergency aid” – Brigham City, 547 U. S., at 403., “hot pursuit” – United States v. Santana, 427 U. S. 38, 42–43 (1976) and “destruction of evidence” – Brigham City, 547 U. S., at 403, Georgia v. Randolph, 547 U. S. 103, 116, n. 6 (2006);. Minnesota v. Olson, 495 U. S. 91, 100 (1990)

    Kentucky v King was a question of the “police-created exigency” doctrine.

    The police were in pursuit of a suspect after a controlled cocaine buy. Suspect went down a dead end corridor and entered one of two apartments unseen. Police followed, smelled cannabis coming from Kings apartment, knocked, heard shuffling, entered, found King and two others smoking cannabis with cocaine on the table. Police then entered the second apartment and apprehended the controlled buy suspect.

    The court reversed Kentucky Supreme Court and found the knock was not a deliberate attempt to create an exigency on the part of the police. If you read the Kentucky Supreme Court ruling their conclusion is convoluted at best, that the police should know what the knock would, do kind of argument.

    If drugs are removed from the search equation how much of an issue is this?

  • warren

    commies couldn`t cook up shit like this. useless dingleberrys.

  • the commies did do shit like this. it apparently abhorred us to such an extent that we adopted it as s.o.p. for our own society. along with kids turning in their parents, teachers turning in the kids, neighbors spying on each other, etc etc etc

    we have become what we once claimed to hate

  • tintguy

    Yeah, I guess technology wasn’t all we took from the Nazis

    • kaptinemo

      Tintguy, if it had not been for international banksters bankrolling Hitler, there wouldn’t have been a NSDAP.

      The late Professor Anthony Sutton began digging into these ‘fringe’ matters long ago, and wrote some fascinating, footnoted-to-the-max books on how international finance bankrolled the Fascists, Nazis and the Communists.

      His book Wall Street and the Rise of Hitler is free online to all who want to understand why the ‘Last Good War’ wasn’t so good…as it, like just about all wars, were bankrolled by people whose loyalties were only to their own plutocratic class, not to any nation.

      Imported Nazis? Sure, but our leaders also helped create what we later imported.

  • darkcycle

    We spirited hundreds of Nazis out of Germany and hid them from Nuremberg. So did the Brits and the Russians and the Argentinians and Australians. We adopted a government sponsored and enabled Fascist model right then. The Military Industrial Complex. It grew through the intervening decades to include the Oil companies, Insurance and Big Pharma….now any real,honest historian would HAVE to conclude that it was GERMANY that lost the war, but Fascism in fact won.

    • tintguy

      Yes but to most people, believing this puts us in the lunatic fringe.

      • darkcycle

        Not so much anymore, tintguy, we’re not the fringe any longer.

      • Fairuse

        darkcycle’s talking facts here. All of the participants in WWII smuggled out Nazis for their own gains. Mostly in technology. It can be argued that cumulatively this proliferation of tech around the world played a large roll in the international “Defense” Industries gaining megatons of political clout and in effect shaping the last 50 years of policy at time and abroad. This Industry of War is borderless, disregards political figureheads and is most fruitful in a quasi-facist environment.

      • tintguy

        Well, we’re either in the fringe or I’m just…. Oh yeah… I live in the bible belt now. lol

        Seriously though I have freinds across the country and most of them still think thats crazy talk.

  • warren

    put these supreme court bozos out to pasture. Their brains are rotting.

  • DdC

    KICKING IN THE CONSTITUTION
    One of the most important functions of the Supreme Court is to put legal limits on police excesses. But the court failed to fulfill that responsibility last week when it widened a loophole in the requirement that police obtain a warrant before searching a home. full story

    Supreme Court’s Fourth Amendment Ruling
    US WA: Editorial: Seattle Times 23 May 2011