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TAGS Medical Marijuana Onlinepot Marijuana Case Law Case Law Court Rulings California Legal Research Cannabis Law Suits Attorney General US Supreme Court District Court State Court Marijuana Court Rulings 9th district court US Department Of Justice DEA Drug Lawyers Legal Defenses Case Rulings SEARCH AND SEIZURE

The United States Supreme Court last week injected some common sense
 into the “exclusionary rule,” one of the more bizarre doctrines in the
 American legal system. Thanks to the 5-4 decision in Hudson vs. Michigan,
 criminals won’t go free just because law enforcement officers waited only
 five seconds to barge into a house after knocking on the door and shouting,
 “Police. Search warrant.”


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Pubdate: Sun, 25 Jun 2006
Source: Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) 

 Plain Language Folks, "You Got 5 Seconds"
 Now. From The Time They First Knock On The
 Door "Screaming We Have A Warrant:"
 Before Your Door Is In Many Little Pieces. &
 Your Starring Down The Business Ends Of
 Many M-16’s & Other Automatic Assault
 Weapons. Pointed AT YOU! 🙁

Prior to the ruling, police etiquette required about a 20-second wait. Otherwise, seized evidence could be thrown out because of a technical violation of the “knock and announce” provision of the common law. 

The ruling is limited in scope, but it could lead to further challenges to the exclusionary rule, created by the Supreme Court in 1914 in federal law and expanded to the states in a 1961 high court decision. Under the rule, illegally obtained evidence, in most instances, can’t be introduced into criminal proceedings. It was designed to deter police misconduct. 

In the Hudson case, the prosecution admitted police didn’t wait long enough after announcing their presence before entering a drug dealer’s home, where they found contraband. The Michigan Supreme Court, however, declared that excluding the evidence was too extreme a remedy to deter police wrongdoing, and the U.S. Supreme Court agreed. 

Society must take steps to protect the Fourth Amendment prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures. But there are other ways to accomplish this than by issuing what Justice Antonin Scalia called a “get-out-of-jail-free card” for technical violations of the law. One method is to allow illegally seized evidence to be introduced at trial, but to sanction the law enforcement officers who acted improperly. 

Civil libertarians cringe at the thought of any changes to the exclusionary rule, but allowing a murderer, rapist, drug dealer or terrorist to escape punishment on a technicality isn’t justice. It’s foolishness, and it shouldn’t be allowed to happen. 

BOTTOM LINE: The court has brought some balance to the exclusionary rule.        

Bookmark: http://www.mapinc.org/topics/Fourth+Amendment