Supreme Court empowers police

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  • #1
Gokul43201
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http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/16/w...&en=84b4802158d1130d&ei=5094&partner=homepage

WASHINGTON, June 15 — Evidence found by police officers who enter a home to execute a search warrant without first following the requirement to "knock and announce" can be used at trial despite that constitutional violation, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday.

The 5-to-4 decision left uncertain the value of the "knock-and-announce" rule, which dates to 13th-century England as protection against illegal entry by the police into private homes.

Justice Antonin Scalia, in the majority opinion, said that people subject to an improper police entry remained free to go to court and bring a civil rights suit against the police.

But Justice Stephen G. Breyer, writing for the dissenters, said the ruling "weakens, perhaps destroys, much of the practical value of the Constitution's knock-and-announce protection." He said the majority's reasoning boiled down to: "The requirement is fine, indeed, a serious matter, just don't enforce it."
Yet another Constitutional protection weakened.

Was that rule just dumb in the first place or is this the need of the times?
 
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  • #2
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Well, they have a search warrant. Why do they need to knock and "inform" the persons inside that its time to scram out the back and hide the loot?

I don't think the knock and announce rule is a 'constitutional protection' after all, they have warrant to search your house if you agree to it or not.
 
  • #3
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So now according to recent Supreme Court decisions, the police can enter and search my home unannounced. Then the local jurisdiction can take my property and sell it to a developer who will build a motel 6. GREAT:rolleyes:
 
  • #4
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cyrusabdollahi said:
Well, they have a search warrant. Why do they need to knock and "inform" the persons inside that its time to scram out the back and hide the loot?

I don't think the knock and announce rule is a 'constitutional protection' after all, they have warrant to search your house if you agree to it or not.
As for scramming out the back, the police should be smart enough to cover the back because even during an unannouced entry, some one can still scram out the back.

Breaking down doors unannounced, especially in the middle of the night is not a wise idea, it is going to result in a lot of unecessary gunfire.

Now if someone wanted to round up unarmed Jews or members of other ethnic groups, this tactic is historically proven to work.
 
  • #5
Pengwuino
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So you're saying this procedure is somehow a final step towards another Holocaust?
 
  • #6
Gokul43201
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cyrusabdollahi said:
Well, they have a search warrant. Why do they need to knock and "inform" the persons inside that its time to scram out the back and hide the loot?

I don't think the knock and announce rule is a 'constitutional protection' after all, they have warrant to search your house if you agree to it or not.
You are aware that there is (or has been, until two days ago, at least) such a thing as a "no-knock" warrant, that could be given for special circumstances?


The Fourth Amendment :

Execution of Warrants--The manner of execution of warrants is generally governed by statute and rule, as to time of execution, method of entry, and the like. It was a rule at common law that before an officer could break and enter he must give notice of his office, authority, and purpose and must in effect be refused admittance, and until recently this has been a statutory requirement in the federal system and generally in the States. In Ker v. California, the Court considered the rule of announcement as a constitutional requirement, although a majority there found circumstances justifying entry without announcement. In Wilson v. Arkansas, the Court determined that the common law ''knock and announce'' rule is an element of the Fourth Amendment reasonableness inquiry. The rule does not, however, require announcement under all circumstances. The presumption in favor of announcement yields under various circumstances, including those posing a threat of physical violence to officers, those in which a prisoner has escaped and taken refuge in his dwelling, and those in which officers have reason to believe that destruction of evidence is likely. Recent federal laws providing for the issuance of warrants authorizing in certain circumstances ''no-knock'' entries to execute warrants will no doubt present the Court with opportunities to explore the configurations of the rule of announcement.
http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data/constitution/amendment04/02.html#1
 
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  • #7
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edward said:
As for scramming out the back, the police should be smart enough to cover the back because even during an unannouced entry, some one can still scram out the back.

Breaking down doors unannounced, especially in the middle of the night is not a wise idea, it is going to result in a lot of unecessary gunfire.

Now if someone wanted to round up unarmed Jews or members of other ethnic groups, this tactic is historically proven to work.
Well sure, I realize that the police cover the back door. I was just saying that to make a point. It really serves no purpose to knock on the door. If the police knock on the door of a drug lab, let's not assume that they will open the door welcoming the police in :rofl:.

In any event, we cannot say what is or is not safer to any degree of authority.

Your last comment serves no benifit to the discussion, so I will respectfully ignore it.
 
  • #8
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To Gokul,

Well, the quote you have cited is not the fourth amendment, so I will source it from wikipedia below:

Fourth Amendment said:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
In this, no where do I read about knocking. In fact, on reading your source, I clearly see:

The manner of execution of warrants is generally governed by statute and rule, as to time of execution, method of entry, and the like.
Therefore, this is a state issue, and NOT part of the amendment. And NOT a violation of the constituional rights. In fact, it states the police can enter via any method deemed acceptable by statue or rule.
 
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  • #9
kyleb
Announced entry is one of the standards that set civilized society apart from the kingdoms of old as well as dictatorships of today. Throwing one more in a countless number of drug dealers in jail isn't worth giving up the respect for individual rights which our forefathers have fought so hard to secure and maintain.
 
  • #10
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Pengwuino said:
So you're saying this procedure is somehow a final step towards another Holocaust?
No, but historically it was the first step in the original one.

BTW I am thinking that federal agents don't have to knock and announce anyway. I have seen a lot of local police departments who just are not qualified to make this kind of entry.
 
  • #11
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kyleb said:
Announced entry is one of the standards that set civilized society apart from the kingdoms of old as well as dictatorships of today. Throwing one more in a countless number of drug dealers in jail isn't worth giving up the respect for individual rights which our forefathers have fought so hard to secure and maintain.
This is simply not the case. Who is giving up individual rights by not knocking? Your forefathers fought to secure and maintain that police knock on your door when they have a legal warrant? This is a highly emotional argument. Please put try to keep it more relevant to the discussion.
 
  • #12
kyleb
cyrusabdollahi said:
To Gokul,

Well, the quote you have cited is not the fourth amendment, so I will source it from wikipedia below:



In this, no where do I read about knocking. In fact, on reading your source, I clearly read:



Therefore, this is a state issue, and NOT part of the amendment. And NOT a violation of the constituional rights.
You are overlooking the intent of the term "unreasonable." our founders held enough respect for their fellow man to understand that kicking down a persons door unanounced with only suspension of evidence simply isn't a reasonable thing to do.
 
  • #13
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kyleb said:
Announced entry is one of the standards that set civilized society apart from the kingdoms of old as well as dictatorships of today. Throwing one more in a countless number of drug dealers in jail isn't worth giving up the respect for individual rights which our forefathers have fought so hard to secure and maintain.
I would imagine this is more about drug dealers flushing the evidence than anything. Hells bells a simple inflatable drain plug used by plumbers could resolve that. The plugs can be snaked in from down the street. They even have cameras that can be snaked in and look right up the potty.

Just turning of the water to the residence will only allow the bad guys to have one flush.
 
  • #14
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kyleb said:
You are overlooking the intent of the term "unreasonable." our founders held enough respect for their fellow man to understand that kicking down a persons door unanounced with only suspension of evidence simply isn't a reasonable thing to do.
Did they? Then why did they not explicitly state this in the constitution? The founders of the constituion used the wording they did for a very important reason. When they had to be specific, they were VERY specific.

When they were not as specific, they left it to the states to decide what is "unreasonable."

Finally, your argument is factually incorrect. We are not talking about "only suspicion of evidence", we are talking about a warrant.
 
  • #15
Pengwuino
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kyleb said:
You are overlooking the intent of the term "unreasonable." our founders held enough respect for their fellow man to understand that kicking down a persons door unanounced with only suspension of evidence simply isn't a reasonable thing to do.
... the founding fathers had people tossed in jail simply for not supporting their cause... do you really think they would be appauled at the idea that someone with a warrant out for them is being unreasonably dehumanized by having a piece of wood broken?
 
  • #16
kyleb
cyrusabdollahi said:
This is simply not the case. Who is giving up individual rights by not knocking?
If you happened to get your door kicked in unannounced would you think you gave anything up there or rather would you conclude that your right to be secure in your home was forcibly taken from you?
cyrusabdollahi said:
Your forefathers fought to secure and maintain that police knock on your door when they have a legal warrant? This is a highly emotional argument. Please put try to keep it more relevant to the discussion.
It is historical fact, and one quite relevant to the discussion at hand.
 
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  • #17
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I wonder how the Supreme Court reconciles it's recent ruling with the one below?

In 1995, the U.S. Supreme Court, in a case titled Wilson V. Arkansas, 514 U.S. 927, stressed the importance of the knock and announce rule by holding for the first time that the rule is part of the reasonableness element of the Fourth Amendment.
http://www.trmagonline.com/Spring2003TR/spring2003knockandannounce.htm [Broken]
 
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  • #18
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kyleb said:
If you happened to get your door kicked in unannounced would you think you anything up there or rather would you conclude that your right to be secure in your home was forcibly taken from you?

It is historical fact, and one quite relevant to the discussion at hand.
When the police come into your house, they must present you with a warrant. So if they break down your door and handcuff you, you will still be shown a warrant. (As far as I am aware).

If it is a historical fact, I would be interested in reading the link.
 
  • #19
Pengwuino
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kyleb said:
If you happened to get your door kicked in unannounced would you think you anything up there or rather would you conclude that your right to be secure in your home was forcibly taken from you?
Can you restate this phrase or fix it, im a little confused about what your saying near the middle (edit). Specifically, "would you think you anything up there" is confusing me
 
  • #20
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edward said:
I wonder how the Supreme Court reconciles it's recent ruling with the one below?


http://www.trmagonline.com/Spring2003TR/spring2003knockandannounce.htm [Broken]
With all due respect art, if you are going to quote something, don't misquote it.

your source said:
The court determined that the three-second wait before they pushed in the door was reasonable.
I suggest reading through the rest of your source. It clearly states that:

The answer to the question of what is reasonable time is more of an art form than a science. In a nutshell, what is reasonable depends on the particular and unique circumstances of each case. For example, when a warrant is executed in the middle of the night, the time may increase because it unlikely that the occupants would be readily available to respond to the knock.
Courts across the country have wrestled with the questions of what constitutes a reasonable time in specific cases and the decisions seem to range from a few seconds to a minute
 
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  • #21
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kyleb said:
It is historical fact, and one quite relevant to the discussion at hand.
It is definitely historical fact: From the Tactical Responce link above.

The knock and announce rule requires that officers knock and announce their presence before they enter a dwelling while executing search warrants. The basis for the rule is found in the Fourth Amendment. It is not so well known that the knock and announce rule is something that predates the U.S. Constitution. It was actually part of English law well before the American Revolution in 1776.
 
  • #22
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Quite right; however, this was not the historical fact I was referring to. I was talking about his fathers fighting for ........I don't know whatever his point of that was....it was simply an emotional appeal.

Anyways, back to facts.

Again edward, it was part of ENGLISH law. This is not OUR law. It might have been customary at the time, but so what? This is NOT a law! I reapeat, that is NOT a law. :wink:
 
  • #23
kyleb
Pengwuino, my mistake, I edited the post to set that straight.

cyrusabdollahi said:
Did they? Then why did they not explicitly state this in the constitution? The founders of the constituion used the wording they did for a very important reason. When they had to be specific, they were VERY specific.

When they were not as specific, they left it to the states to decide what is "unreasonable."
And they epected people to be reasonable enough to know better than to violate the security of a man's home, which is clearly explained in the ammendment.

cyrusabdollahi said:
Finally, your argument is factually incorrect. We are not talking about "only suspicion of evidence", we are talking about a warrant.
What is obviously incorrect here is your understanding of what constitutes grounds for a search warrant.

cyrusabdollahi said:
When the police come into your house, they must present you with a warrant. So if they break down your door and handcuff you, you will still be shown a warrant. (As far as I am aware).
And this was never taken issue with.
cyrusabdollahi said:
If it is a historical fact, I would be interested in reading the link.
Then you can try and dig one up.
 
  • #24
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kyleb said:
And they epected people to be reasonable enough to know better than to violate the security of a man's home, which is clearly explained in the ammendment.
It is? Please point it out to me, here is the amendment:

Fourth Amendment said:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Kyleb said:
What is obviously incorrect here is your understanding of what constitutes grounds for a search warrant.
Whoa, whoa, whoa. Back the train up sir. No you are changing the subject to what constitutes grounds for a search warrant. This is NOT the topic being discussed. We are talking about unreasonable searches. The grounds for issuing a search warrant are COMPLETELY different

kyleb said:
And this was never taken issue with.
This sure was taken issue with, because you stated:

If you happened to get your door kicked in unannounced would you think you anything up there or rather would you conclude that your right to be secure in your home was forcibly taken from you?
Again, I repeat for the last time, this is incorrect. They must have a warrant to enter your house.

Then you can try and dig one up.
No, if you want to make a claim with no link, I will consider it baseless speculation on your part, and ignore it.
 
  • #25
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cyrusabdollahi said:
With all due respect art, if you are going to quote something, don't misquote it.
HEY fella I ask a question about how the current Supreme court would reconcile this decision with one made in 1995. How was that misquoted? It was cut directly from the lin

I suggest reading through the rest of your source. It clearly states that...
I suggest that you get off your "I am the superior being" high horse and realise that not everyone in this world is going to agree with you. Nor are they going to post in the manner that you wish.
 

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