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Supreme Court Sides With Warrantless Search

Discussion in 'Cop Talk' started by PROSOUTH, May 17, 2011.



    Jan 10, 2000
    Middle TN
    The US Supreme Court sides with cops in warrantless search

    Kentucky vs King

    Case concerned exceptions to 4th Amendment requirement that police need a warrant to enter a home

    By Mark Sherman
    WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday ruled against a Kentucky man who was arrested after police burst into his apartment without a search warrant because they smelled marijuana and feared he was trying to get rid of incriminating evidence.

    Voting 8-1, the justices reversed a Kentucky Supreme Court ruling that threw out the evidence gathered when officers entered Hollis King's apartment.

    The court said there was no violation of King's constitutional rights because the police acted reasonably. Only Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dissented.

    Officers knocked on King's door in Lexington and thought they heard noises that indicated whoever was inside was trying to get rid of incriminating evidence.

    Justice Samuel Alito said in his opinion for the court that people have no obligation to respond to the knock or, if they do open the door, allow the police to come in. In those cases, officers who wanted to gain entry would have to persuade a judge to issue a search warrant.

    But Alito said, "Occupants who choose not to stand on their constitutional rights but instead elect to attempt to destroy evidence have only themselves to blame."

    In her dissent, Ginsburg said her colleagues were giving police an easy way to routinely avoid getting warrants in drug cases.

    "Police officers may now knock, listen, then break the door down, never mind that they had ample time to obtain a warrant," she said.

    The case concerned exceptions to the Fourth Amendment requirement that police need a warrant to enter a home.

    The issue was whether warrantless entry was justified after the officers' knock on the door triggered a reaction inside that sounded like the destruction of evidence.

    An odd set of facts led to Monday's ruling.

    Police were only at King's apartment building because they were chasing a man who sold cocaine to a police informant. The man entered King's building and ducked into an apartment. The officers heard a door slam in a hallway, but by the time they were able to look down it, they saw only two closed doors.

    They didn't know which one the suspect had gone through, but, smelling the aroma of burnt pot, chose the apartment on the left.

    In fact, the suspect had gone into the apartment on the right. Police eventually arrested him, too, but prosecutors later dropped charges against him for reasons that were not explained in court papers.

    Probable Cause & Exigent Circumstance ..............
  2. MeefZah

    MeefZah Cover is Code 3

    Jan 2, 2008
    Lost Coast, Cali
    Good article.

    Apparently Bader-Ginsburg thinks you smell with your ears?

  3. Dragoon44

    Dragoon44 Unfair Facist Lifetime Member

    Apr 30, 2005
    There will be the usual wailing and gnashing of teeth in GNG.

  4. I remember when this case first came up on a CT thread, back when the case was being presented to the Sup Ct. And IIRC, the vast majority (if not all) LE posters thought the decison was going to be a slam dunk.

    Guess what, it was a 8-1 Sup. Ct. slam dunk.

    Kudos to the LE posters, who have again shown their working knowledge of search and seizure laws and (more importantly), the exceptions.
    Last edited: May 17, 2011
  5. Posts like this are rare because we actually had someone grade the test. And it was either a pass or a fail.
  6. Dukeboy01

    Dukeboy01 Pretty Ladies!

    Apr 30, 2000
    Lexington, KY
  7. txleapd

    txleapd Hook 'Em Up

    Aug 27, 2004
    It's amazing how many "defenders" of the Constitution are completely ignorant as to what it actually says....
  8. TBO

    TBO Why so serious? CLM

    ...usually, that's not all they're ignorant of.
  9. EOD3


    Oct 19, 2000
    Half of them can't tell the 10 Amendments (BOR) from the 10 Commandments. :upeyes:
  10. Dragoon44

    Dragoon44 Unfair Facist Lifetime Member

    Apr 30, 2005
    There fixed it for you.


    Dragoons law of the internet.

    The louder, more passionate, and adamant they are on a subject, the less likely it is that they actually know what they are talking about.

    And the more likely they are to confuse emotion with reason and logic.
  11. txleapd

    txleapd Hook 'Em Up

    Aug 27, 2004
  12. Sam Spade

    Sam Spade Staff Member Lifetime Member

    May 4, 2003
    It's doesn't really count as a wise prediction when they already have their thread(s) up and running.
  13. Dragoon44

    Dragoon44 Unfair Facist Lifetime Member

    Apr 30, 2005
    it does if I didn't see them.

  14. Rabbi

    Rabbi The Bombdiggity Lifetime Member

    Dec 18, 2004
    San AntonioTexas
    I wish I could feel my way through life. like running around a nudie bar in a black out.

    Damn logic.