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Just Leave me Alone!
With John Roberts hearing his first cases as Supreme Court Justice, I wanted to take a look at a few of the upcoming Court cases and see what AD members think that the ruling should be. Cases found here.

QUOTE
Georgia v. Randolph

At issue: Can police search homes for drugs when occupants disagree over consent?

The case: Scott Randolph was charged with cocaine possession in 2001 after a domestic disturbance complaint by his wife. When Americus, Georgia, police arrived, Janet Randolph led them to a hidden drug stash in the house, over Scott's objection to the search.

The arguments: The Constitution bans "unreasonable searches and seizures," and Georgia's high court said police should have deferred to an objecting occupant's wishes when there was equal use and control of a house. Other state courts have disagreed, saying consent from one occupant is enough.
<snip>

Hudson v. Booker

This separate appeal will allow the justices to re-examine the "knock-and-announce" rule when police prepare to enter a home with a search warrant. In this case, Detroit police failed to knock and did not wait for anyone to answer the door before breaking in. Drugs were found in the residence and the suspect argued that any evidence should be suppressed at trial. Police argue the "inevitable discovery" doctrine pre-empts any knock-and-announce violation.


Additional resources on Hudson Case and Randolph Case.

Questions for Debate: How would you rule on these cases? Why?
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Yogurt
QUOTE
Questions for Debate: How would you rule on these cases?  Why? 


In case one I presume that they both have equal standing. The permission of either rightful owner/occupant should be sufficient. If there had been three occupants, I hope they would not be expected to take a poll.
I further assume that the marriage is 'on the rocks' shall we say smile.gif

In case two, it's a little tougher. Though I would have to side with the police, but with a healthy admonishment in the opinion. It sounds as if they have no provision for "No-Knock" warrants, something the state should consider when applicable.
If they were standing in front of the house, warrant in hand, it's safe to say the discovery would have been inevitable. I'm sure the lawyers in the crowd will disagree, fruits of the poison plant and all tongue.gif

I don't excuse the police from following the law, but it should not prevent the administration of justice to the criminal. Perhaps some sort of charges might be warranted against the police, but it doesn't change the fact that the searched home had the drugs in it and they had a warrant to search it. I don't believe in throwing the baby out with the bath water.
Amlord
Georgia va. Randolph

Seems to me that one resident should be enough. If I live with a person and they turn out to be a drug dealer (or serial killer, or Pokemon card collector ohmy.gif ) should I be able to turn them over? Should I be allowed to give police the permission to get this stuff out of my place of residence? I should hope so.

Hudson va. Booker

Let's see...

Police have a warrant.

Drugs are obvious in the house.

Should the police be required to give a suspect a reasonable amount of time to hide the drugs?

No. The knock and announce rule I would think gives the suspect the opportunity to willingly allow the police to search, as opposed to forcing their way into the house. If the suspect wants to recover damages to his home, I'd agree with that (since they did not give him enough time to answer the door). But the fact remains that they had a warrant (i.e. the legal right to search) and there were indeed drugs there. Case is pretty open and shut unless there are lawyers involved.
Just Leave me Alone!
Questions for Debate: How would you rule on these cases? Why?

I would have to rule in favor of the druggies on both of these cases, not because I like drug dealers, but because I believe the protections of the Fourth Amendment take priority. The Hudson Case was argued incorrectly by the State IMO. Knock and Announce is imbedded in our system from the English Common Law.

We’re going to see how constructionist Roberts is with this ruling. Thomas will rule in favor of Hudson I believe unless the State of Michigan successfully argues that police officers reasonably believed that a prior announcement would have placed them in peril, or that prior announcement would have produced an unreasonable risk that Hudson would destroy easily disposable narcotics evidence. I don’t see that happening in this case as the argument from Michigan is that they would have found the crack anyway had they knocked. As a constructionist, the ruling should be for Hudson because if illegally obtained evidence is not excluded from the case, then police will have no reason to ever announce their presence the future. You cannot set that precedent.

The Randolph case is interesting, but
QUOTE(legalzoom.com)
The bottom line: Janet simply could not waive her husband's Fourth Amendment right after he had already exercised it.
Had he not been home, and she gives permission - fine. Had she given permission before he refused - fine. He exercised his Fourth Amendment right to refuse search first though. Illegal search. Case closed.

I expect a Scalia/Thomas split on at least one of these cases. I hope that Roberts ends up on the side of Thomas.
jaellon
Georgia v. Randolph
The intent of the "unreasonable search and seizure" clause is to prevent a heavy-handed government from entering our homes on a whim to search for evidence that might or might not be there. We would all be prisoners of our own government. The question we have to ask is whether the government is becoming more heavy handed and our rights are being eroded.

Taking that into consideration, I don't find the restraint on our government to be compromised if one person agrees to have the house searched. The police were still restrained until they had permission. They could not legally enter the house without consent. In this case I would rule with the State of Georgia.

Booker T Hudson v. State of Michigan
Wow, this one is a little bit more difficult. I guess we need to weigh the risks of either decision:
Suppressing the evidence: a known criminal goes free, and can continue committing his crime.
Allowing the evidence: the restraint against unreasonable search and seizure is relaxed.

I think the second one is the less risky given 1) a search warrant is still required, 2) the evidence of the crime is found (inevitable discovery), and 3) the relaxation only involves the officers not having knocked. The risk of the first one is that we still have a criminal in our midst.

So I would rule in favor of the State of Michigan

However, I would not be opposed to disciplinary action against the police officers involved for not knocking as required, including being fired or having charges brought against them. But I would not allow Mr. Hudson's petition to suppress the evidence.
ConservPat
Score another one for the cokehead...

Georgia v. Randolph
Objecting to police intrusion is not a democratic affair. If one owner of the home does not want them to come in, then the police should leave and get a warrant to search the house. That doesn't seem unreasonable. One person's acceptance should not trump someone's rejection, the government has the responsibility to leave, and if they have the evidence, to come back with a warrant.

Hudson v. Booker
I'm up in the air about this one. On one side, I agree with Amlord that the police did pretty much everything by the book and that warning drug dealers [who may be armed] that they're coming into there house isn't the best idea. On the other hand, breaking into someone's house who may still be innocent seems like breaking and entering to me. I would probably side with the authorities here, this doesn't seem like it is unreaonable to me.

CP us.gif
Just Leave me Alone!
QUOTE(Yogurt @ Oct 3 2005, 04:48 PM)
I don't excuse the police from following the law, but it should not prevent the administration of justice to the criminal. Perhaps some sort of charges might be warranted against the police, but it doesn't change the fact that the searched home had the drugs in it and they had a warrant to search it.
*



QUOTE(Amlord @ Oct 3 2005, 04:51 PM)
Hudson va. Booker

Let's see...

Police have a warrant.

Drugs are obvious in the house.

Should the police be required to give a suspect a reasonable amount of time to hide the drugs?

No.  The knock and announce rule I would think gives the suspect the opportunity to willingly allow the police to search, as opposed to forcing their way into the house.  If the suspect wants to recover damages to his home, I'd agree with that (since they did not give him enough time to answer the door).  But the fact remains that they had a warrant (i.e. the legal right to search) and there were indeed drugs there.  Case is pretty open and shut unless there are lawyers involved.
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QUOTE(jaellon @ Oct 3 2005, 05:55 PM)
Booker T Hudson v. State of Michigan
Wow, this one is a little bit more difficult.  I guess we need to weigh the risks of either decision:
Suppressing the evidence: a known criminal goes free, and can continue committing his crime.
Allowing the evidence: the restraint against unreasonable search and seizure is relaxed.

I think the second one is the less risky given 1) a search warrant is still required, 2) the evidence of the crime is found (inevitable discovery), and 3) the relaxation only involves the officers not having knocked.  The risk of the first one is that we still have a criminal in our midst.

So I would rule in favor of the State of Michigan
*


You guys are a lot more willing to sacrifice your security than I. Here is why the announce rule is in place from the FBI.

QUOTE(FBI)
The Supreme Court has determined that "every householder, the good and the bad, the guilty and the innocent, is entitled to the protection designed to secure the common interest against unlawful invasion of the house." The knock and announce rule provides citizens with psychological security, knowing that one need not fear an unexpected intrusion. Privacy interests also are protected, avoiding unnecessary embarrassment, shock, or property damage resulting from an unannounced entry.

The rule serves to protect both the individual citizen and the police from the risk of harm and the potential for violence that may occur as a result of an unannounced entry. Announcement protects officers by ensuring that they are not "mistaken for prowlers and shot down by a fearful householder." Innocent citizens also are protected from law enforcement officers who mistakenly might shoot armed occupants who merely are trying to defend themselves from who they preceive to be armed intruders.


So if someone breaks into your house today, you can be pretty darn sure that it is an intruder and not a police officer. This avoids confusion and can let you take the proper action. If the Supreme Court lets this pass, then they will always have to let it pass. Police will stop announcing themselves because they perceive it to be more dangerous to them to do so even though this is partially in place to protect them. This is the type of activism from the bench that conservatives are supposed to hate. Now there are exceptions to knock and announce, but they are not used in this case as far as I can see.
Looms
QUOTE(Just Leave me Alone! @ Oct 3 2005, 04:21 PM)
With John Roberts hearing his first cases as Supreme Court Justice, I wanted to take a look at a few of the upcoming Court cases and see what AD members think that the ruling should be.  Cases found here. 

QUOTE
Georgia v. Randolph

At issue: Can police search homes for drugs when occupants disagree over consent?

The case: Scott Randolph was charged with cocaine possession in 2001 after a domestic disturbance complaint by his wife. When Americus, Georgia, police arrived, Janet Randolph led them to a hidden drug stash in the house, over Scott's objection to the search.

The arguments: The Constitution bans "unreasonable searches and seizures," and Georgia's high court said police should have deferred to an objecting occupant's wishes when there was equal use and control of a house. Other state courts have disagreed, saying consent from one occupant is enough.
<snip>

Hudson v. Booker

This separate appeal will allow the justices to re-examine the "knock-and-announce" rule when police prepare to enter a home with a search warrant. In this case, Detroit police failed to knock and did not wait for anyone to answer the door before breaking in. Drugs were found in the residence and the suspect argued that any evidence should be suppressed at trial. Police argue the "inevitable discovery" doctrine pre-empts any knock-and-announce violation.


Additional resources on Hudson Case and Randolph Case.

Questions for Debate: How would you rule on these cases? Why?
*



I vote for the druggies in both cases.

Case 1:

Are my rights only in effect until my wife decides they shouldn't be? Should I be able to get mad at her, and have the police demolish HER dresser, HER closet, tear apart HER car, etc.? If they had probable cause, they should have gotten a warrant. Good luck convincing a judge that an angry wife in the middle of a domestic dispute is "probable cause". Are there not better uses for the police than a tool of harassment against those that make us mad?

Case 2:

My general rule of thumb is: When in doubt, go with the person's rights. The fact of the matter is, the police had a rule, which they did not follow. They could have followed that rule and still had the same result. It is virtually impossible to erase every trace of drugs/drug paraphenelia within a matter of seconds. I wonder, had they found NO drugs, would anyone still side with them? Does the end justify the means? What if they did knock down the door of some guy who likes to sleep with a shotgun, and doesn't know them from Adam? Should it be perfectly ok for him to shoot them?
Victoria Silverwolf
I have to add two more votes for the druggies.

In Georgia v Randolph, the Supreme Court has already decided (in a similar case) that the occupant of a home can give consent to have the place searched if the other occupant(s) is/are not there. In this case, both occupants were there; one said "yes" and the other said "no." The government should be required to respect the "no" and get a search warrant.

In Hudson v Michigan, it seems pretty clear to me that you should not have cops breaking down your door without warning unless there is very strong evidence that someone is about to be seriously harmed or killed in a very short length of time.

When in doubt, the best thing to do is to limit the power of the police.
Vladimir
In the Georgia case, deference should be given to the rights of the objecting party.

In the Michigan case, a separate warrant, requiring much stricter standards of probable cause, should be needed to invade without warning. Personally, I cannot think of much that would justify that, other than the avoidance of a grave compromise to national security or the loss of someone's life.

Parenthetically, my view of the prohibition of marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and so forth, is that it is a vastly greater evil than these things themselves, and that its principal casualty has been the Fourth Amendment.
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