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Author Topic: New Supreme Court Shows What it's Made of: Feces  (Read 3058 times)


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New Supreme Court Shows What it's Made of: Feces
« on: June 17, 2006, 06:49:17 am »

New Supreme Court Shows What it's Made of: Feces


The Supreme Court ruled Thursday, in Hudson v. Michigan, that evidence need not be suppressed if officers violate the ‘knock and announce’ rule when executing a search warrant. Booker Hudson challenged an arrest for cocaine possession claiming officers violated his 4th Amendment rights, and Michigan law, by failing to give him the required 15-20 seconds to answer the door.

In a 5-4 decision conjured by Scalia in a dark cave beneath the city, the Court ruled that exclusion of evidence is an inappropriately harsh remedy for entering a suspect’s home too hastily. In so doing, the Court rejects well-established 4th Amendment precedent regarding the admissibility of evidence obtained during the course of a ‘knock and announce’ violation.

The majority opinion overflows with false assumptions regarding police accountability and alarmist rhetoric about the "social consequences" of allowing "criminals" to go free. As dissenting Justice Stephen Breyer and dissenting blogger Radley Balko point out, Scalia is full of it. In defense of his intention to eliminate penalties for officers who violate warrant rules, he says ridiculous things like:

We now have increasing evidence that police forces across the United States take the constitutional rights of citizens seriously.
Yeah right. If this is true, our DVD BUSTED is no more than a magic rock that keeps the tigers away. Now that FyR and ACLU have been exposed for the charlatans we are, lend your support to the true defenders of liberty: your local SWAT team.

Scalia’s fantasies aside, this ruling is actually a lot worse than many well-meaning observers might realize. Civil remedies against police in this context are virtually non-existent. By refusing to exclude evidence obtained in violation of the ‘knock and announce’ rule, the Court invites police to raid homes with increasingly indiscriminant ineptitude.

As I’ve explained before, police attack the wrong home with frightening regularity. This happens because they’re bad with paperwork and because they routinely collect drug tips from crackhead snitches who don’t know what they’re talking about. These raids often take place in drug-infested neighborhoods, whose law-abiding residents are always ready to defend their homes against burglars. When police enter an innocent citizen’s home without properly announcing themselves, a shoot-out is the likely result, and the men with machine guns and body armor are the likely victors.

If you’re lucky enough to survive such a misunderstanding, you just might end up on death row.

The reason we must punish police who violate warrant requirements is not to free the guilty, it is to protect the innocent.

In the face of a full-on assault from a new and hostile Supreme Court, FyR will not succumb to the temptation to proclaim the 4th Amendment dead every time it takes a hit. I hate when people do that. We’re here to flex our rights, not eulogize them. That said, it’s clear that we face an unprecedented threat to many of our favorite precedents. The Hudson ruling doesn’t impact the validity of our materials, but it reveals a frightening willingness among our newest justices to champion police power to the detriment of citizens’ liberty and safety.

Stay tuned. Unfortunately, this is just the beginning.

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