Cops can search your home without warrant

Discussion in 'Free Speech Alley' started by tiger fan 2001, Mar 28, 2004.

  1. tiger fan 2001

    tiger fan 2001 Founding Member

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  2. Sourdoughman

    Sourdoughman TigerFan of LSU and the Tigerman

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    scary stuff,

    Is this just in Louisiana or anyone else as well?
    I guess its just in Louisiana for now
     
  3. SabanFan

    SabanFan The voice of reason

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    Yeah. If you're a cop killer or drug kingpin, this could turn out to be a terrible ruling. My house? Come on in. Nothing to hide. Would you like a cup of coffee officer?
     
  4. tiger fan 2001

    tiger fan 2001 Founding Member

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    I don't have anything to hide but it's not a good thing when your rights go away one after another. When you look at the big picture this is a terrible ruling.
     
  5. Bengal B

    Bengal B Founding Member

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    I'm not a cop killer or a drug kingpin but I don't want them to have the right to search my house without a warrant. I don't put it past a lot of cops to plant some drugs or other contraband if they realize they have made a mistake and busted into the wrong house.
     
  6. Ectopic Tiger

    Ectopic Tiger Founding Member

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    Dale Dribble? Is that you? :shock:
     
  7. Jetstorm

    Jetstorm Founding Member

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    A little perspective here:

    -This ruling does not mean that police officers can just bust in your house and toss it at random just because they feel like it. Probable cause must still exist. The police officer must first be on the premises for some pre-existing reason, either responding to a call or as part of an investigation. If the ruling is interpreted very, very strictly, the police officer can only conduct a brief, on the spot search if he feels there is something suspicious going on or if he believes himself or others to be in danger (ie., police officer walks in to a house to separate two people in a fight. Police officer notices one of the belligerents is jittery, keeps catching him glancing down toward the counter just to his right. Police officer tells him to immediately step away from the counter, then walks behind it to discover a butcher knife stashed under the top shelf. Now, whereas before this ruling, that gun would have been excluded at a trial for the assailant for attempted assault of a police officer, because it was obtained without a dilineated search warrant, now, it wouldn't be)

    Now, that said, this ruling is still greatly troubling for me, because some depts. will NOT interpret this ruling the way the 5th Circuit would like and the potential for this procedure to be abused is unbelievable. It really could turn out to be "the road to Hell." 1st of all, a police officer fearing danger is a very subjective, "fuzzy" standard, and second, searches for stuff the police aren't even supposed to be looking for could start becoming common-place. You think it's hard for police to win community trust in poor black neighborhoods now? Wait till police start going into people's houses responding to domestic disturbance calls or suspicious persons banging on the windows outside and end up arresting everyone in the house because a couple of joints were found underneath the coffee table. People in high-crime areas will simply stop calling the police for help for fear of going to jail themselves for ticky-tack stuff or having to endure a police "spot-search" on the officers' whims.

    What if this thing goes nationwide for federal law enforcement? I shudder to think of the consequences for Average Joe Shotgun Owner/NRA member if Janet Reno's Justice Dept. had possessed such sweeping search powers.

    The 4th Amendment spells it out folks. One of the biggest things we fought the American Revolution over was "the right of the people to be secure in their persons and property against illegal search and seizure." If an officer of the law sees suspicious activity in and around a house or business, fine. Investigate, see if probable cause exists, and get a warrant. In most jurisdictions, search warrant probable cause thresholds are not very high and warrants take literally minutes to acquire. But I am not cool with a police officer, who I called for help, deciding to toss my house just because I make him nervous for some odd reason.

    And no, I don't have anything to hide. But I am a law abiding citizen who believes in the Constitution, and I don't like it when the security of my person and property is violated by ANYONE for ANY REASON, or for no good reason at all. You suspect me of doing something illegal. Fine. Go to the judge in town and get a warrant, then you can look through my stuff, and only for what the warrant says you can look for.
     
  8. Bengal B

    Bengal B Founding Member

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    I was thinking of a movie I saw once where the cops had the wrong address and raided Tom Sellecks house. He was coming out of the bathroom with a hair dryer in his hand and the cops mistook it for a gun and shot him. Realizing their mistake they planted a gun and some cocaine on him and he got sent to prison. I don't remember the name of the movie.
     
  9. LSUBud

    LSUBud Founding Member

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    Actually, it looks like it came from the Federal Fifth Circuit. If that is the case, it is valid in Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas until it is overruled by the Supreme Court. Although I haven't read the case, from reading the blurb I'm thinking that the case will be EXTREMELY NARROWLY interpreted to only allow cops to "search" a PORTION of a premises which they have already LEGALLY entered, and then, ONLY, if they think their safety is threatened.

    If that's the case, it seems like a NO BRAINER to me.
     
  10. SabanFan

    SabanFan The voice of reason

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    "An Innocent Man". Great movie. It made me swear I'd kill myself before going to prison.
     

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