The ho-hum headline in the below article does not constitute the salient news. The headline story whines about Florida’s restriction of college travel to terrorist states. Big deal.
The real story: The Supremes voted 8-1 to let cops bust into YOUR house if they CLAIM they smelled marijuana, yelled out, banged the door, and heard evidence of destruction of evidence.
HEARD evidence? Like a toilet flushing or rapid scurrying or someone yelling “Quick, eat it, give it to the dog!”?
Wouldn’t YOU scurry to get your defense tools if you heard a commotion at your door, especially banging and unintelligible frantic yelling?
What else can I suggest other than that you keep your home defense tools AT HAND, especially when partying, MOST especially when fumes of ANYTHING waft through or around the house. Cops could say:
· “I thought I smelled Marijuana,”
· “Flushing that toilet meant only one thing – flushing the dope down the drain,” or
· “I yelled and banged on the door but they made so much noise inside I guess they didn’t hear me.”
To begin with, I’d get rich quickly if I had a nickel for every lie cops told about conditions of a bust. And I’d have tons of contraband and a mountain of cash and dope if cops gave me all their evidence that never made it to the evidence locker.
Also, what if you and your guests partied out in the back yard where you couldn’t hear the front door commotion?
I consider this a terrible ruling. Only Ginsburg dissented. God bless her common sense. See her quote below.
U.S. Supreme Court may review Florida law restricting travel to 'terrorist states'
In Print: Tuesday, May 17, 2011
WASHINGTON — [lead story excised]
Police may enter if evidence in jeopardy
The issue as framed by the majority was a narrow one. It assumed there was good reason to think evidence was being destroyed, and asked only whether the conduct of the police had impermissibly caused the destruction.
Justice Samuel Alito, writing for the majority, said police officers do not violate the Fourth Amendment's ban on unreasonable searches by kicking down a door after the occupants of an apartment react to hearing that officers are there by seeming to destroy evidence.
"The court today arms the police with a way routinely to dishonor the Fourth Amendment's warrant requirement in drug cases," Ginsburg wrote. "In lieu of presenting their evidence to a neutral magistrate, police officers may now knock, listen, then break the door down, never mind that they had ample time to obtain a warrant."
[Last modified: May 16, 2011 11:12 PM]
Copyright 2011 St. Petersburg Times
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