Don't Come Sniffing Around Here Unless You Have a Warrant

The U.S. Supreme Court has said that having a drug-detecting dog sniff luggage at an airport or a car during a traffic stop does not amount to a "search" under the Fourth Amendment and therefore does not require a warrant. A case that Florida's attorney general has asked the Court to consider raises the question of whether the same conclusion applies to the use of a drug-sniffing dog outside a home. Miami-Dade police brought the dog to Joelis Jardines' house on December 5, 2006, based on an anonymous tip that he was growing marijuana. After sniffing around, the dog sat down, which supposedly indicated that he smelled cannabis. Based on that "alert," police obtained a search warrant from a magistrate. The ensuing search discovered 179 plants, along with Jardines sneaking out the back door. The trial court suppressed the evidence obtained in the search, agreeing with Jardines that police needed probable cause to bring in the dog. An appeals court reversed that decision, but last April the Florida Supreme Court reinstated it, concluding the dog-assisted inspection of the home's exterior did indeed constitute a search.

The U.S. Supreme Court's rulings dealing with dog sniffs emphasized that people do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the possession of contraband, which is the only thing a properly trained dog's alert is supposed to reveal. (Whether that's true in practice is another matter.) But the decisions were limited to specific settings (an airport and a highway) where the expectation of privacy is not as strong as it is in the home. Then again, in Kyllo v. United States, the 2001 case where the Court said a warrant is needed for infrared surveillance of a home, it emphasized that thermal imaging reveals innocent details of people's lives as well as the possible presence of an indoor marijuana garden. In light of those rulings, Tom Goldstein, publisher of SCOTUSBlog, told the Associated Press:

The Florida Supreme Court adopted a very broad reading of the Fourth Amendment that is different from that applied by other courts. It's an interpretation that a majority of the U.S. Supreme Court will question.

The Florida Supreme Court nevertheless makes a strong case that, even assuming police dogs are inerrant drug-detecting machines, a canine inspection like the one conducted at Jardines' house is not the sort of thing police should be allowed to do on a whim:

The dog "sniff test" that was conducted in the present case was an intrusive procedure.  As explained more fully below, the "sniff test" was a sophisticated undertaking that was the end result of a sustained and coordinated effort by various law enforcement agencies.  On the scene, the procedure involved multiple police vehicles, multiple law enforcement personnel, including narcotics detectives and other officers, and an experienced dog handler and trained drug detection dog engaged in a vigorous search effort on the front porch of the residence. Tactical law enforcement personnel from various government agencies, both state and federal, were on the scene for surveillance and backup purposes. The entire on-the-scene government activity—i.e., the preparation for the "sniff test," the test itself, and the aftermath, which culminated in the full-blown search of Jardines‟ home—lasted for hours. The “sniff test” apparently took place in plain view of the general public. There was no anonymity for the resident.

Such a public spectacle unfolding in a residential neighborhood will invariably entail a degree of public opprobrium, humiliation and embarrassment for the resident, for such dramatic government activity in the eyes of many—neighbors, passers-by, and the public at large—will be viewed as an official accusation of crime.  Further, if government agents can conduct a dog "sniff test" at a private residence without any prior evidentiary showing of wrongdoing, there is nothing to prevent the agents from applying the procedure in an arbitrary or discriminatory manner, or based on whim and fancy, at the home of any citizen.  Such an open-ended policy invites overbearing and harassing conduct.  Accordingly, we conclude that a "sniff test," such as the test that was conducted in the present case, is a substantial government intrusion into the sanctity of the home and constitutes a "search" within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment. As such, it must be preceded by an evidentiary showing of wrongdoing.

Miami-Dade police could have avoided this whole controversy if they had taken a cue from their colleagues in Pinellas County and simply claimed they could smell the pot while standing outside Jardines' house. Perhaps their noses are not quite as sensitive. The cops in Pinellas County, after all, can smell marijuana even when it's not there.

SCOTUSblog has more on Florida v. Jardines here. More on drug-sniffing dogs here, including Radley Balko's 2011 column on "The Mind of a Police Dog." Julian Sanchez explored related issues in his classic Reason article on "The Pinpoint Search."

[Thanks to Kevin Bankert for the tip.]

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  • ||

    This could probably be solved by allowing the residents to sue the dog for defamation if it falsely indicates the presence of marijuana.

  • Bingo||

    Finally, a reason to cover the outside of my house in bacon.

  • Bacon and Beer||

    It'll kill ya, but it's the best cityStatism has to offer. Indulge.

  • ||

    What about strip clubs? With bacon on the buffet.

  • ||

    It's where the elite meat!

  • ||

    living in a brick/stone dwelling can give oyu a higher background radiation dose, right?

    would living in a bacon dwelling make you fatter just by exposure? fat-vapors or something?

    In any event, your local zoning authority would like to have a word with you.

  • autonomous and sovereign ||

    Egalitarian Non-State people didn't put up with that shit.

    City-Statist had to just kill Non-State bands and tribes. American Indian Holocaust.

    No, not the rack, not fission bombs, not anything — you can't conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him. ~Robert Heinlein

  • ||

    "Shuts 'em up, though" ~ Nelson A. Miles

  • ||

    "The last gasp of the Harvard
    establishment. Let's see them think their way out of fission."
    ~Richard M. Nixon

  • ||

    bacon doesn't make you fat.

    in brief, a gross simplification, but...

    SUGAR MAKES YOU FAT Y0

    take it from somebody who has lost bf, and improved performance as a nationally ranked strength athlete after i mostly eliminated sugars/processed crap and added more steak, bacon, and eggs

    like either 5 or so eggs, or a ribeye steak for breakfast. every day

    and bacon!

  • West Texas||

    It's tyrannical shit like this - and cops who think it's perfectly acceptable - that make me want to drink at my desk in the afternoon. We are so fucked.

  • Bingo||

    I gave up drinking as my New Year's Resolution and at this rate I'm not expecting to make it to Friday.

  • Gambilorium nonsanitorium||

    It's 5pm somewhere. But not 1700 Zulu time until...hey, it's past time!

    GO DRINK YE MERRY GENTLEMEN, LET NOTHING YOU DISMAY!

  • Enabler Confabulator||

    Leftists and Conservatives encouraging libertine behavior. Well, it helps our causes. Team Blue. Team Red.

    And you don't have a team.

    Sorry ass shit. DRINK!

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    This whole thing is just so damn silly.

    OMG, he's got some plants that if you dry them and properly prepare them and smoke them, it makes you goofy!

    I swear this country is so fucking backwards sometimes.

    And I don't even smoke pot, nor would I if it were legal. But I can see this is just as silly as getting a warrant to search a guy's house because we think he has a couple bottles of bourbon somewhere inside.

  • ||

    This whole thing is just so damn silly.

    This. A thousand times this.

    Who gives a shit about what drugs other people are doing in the privacy of their own homes? What kind of petty assholishness does it take? What blindness to the entire history of prohibition does it take?

    Eventually, history will judge drug warriors as no better than slave owners.

  • Gambolirium nonsanitorium||

    This whole thing is just so damn silly.

    OMG, he's gamboled about plain and forest and harvested got some plants that if you dry them and properly prepare them and smoke them, it makes you goofy!

    I swear this country is so fucking backwards sometimes.

    And I don't even gambol, nor would I if it were legal. But I can see this is just as silly as getting a warrant to search a guy's house because we think he has a couple bottles of bourbon somewhere inside.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    You should smoke some pot. Or eat it, if it is the smoking you have a problem with.

  • ||

    Hey! Don't sniff around here no more.
    Don't sniff around here no more.
    Whatever you're looking for.
    Hey! Don't sniff around here no more.

    I've given up, stop.
    I've given up, stop.
    I've given up, stop.
    On waiting for a warrant.
    I've given up, on my rights getting stronger.

    Don't sniff around here no more.
    Don't sniff around here no more.
    Don't sniff around here no more.
    Don't sniff around here no more.

  • sarcasmic||

    Old Fogie and the Pacemakers

  • ||

    You don't like Petty? Everyone likes Petty. What are you, a terrorist?

  • sarcasmic||

    I liked him like twenty years ago, but I can only listen to the same tired shit so many times.

  • ||

    Fair enough. I don't listen to him all of the time. But I go through phases where I do. If music is good, it stays good.

  • A Perfect Circle||

    'Tis the place to park your brain.

    Remember, parking isn't permanent, dipshit.

    The Noose - A Perfect Circle
    www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHdRy-iivcg

  • Brett L||

    ProL has to like Petty, since they've both willingly lived in Gainesville.

  • ||

    Petty didn't willingly live there. His folks made him, and he permanently escaped decades ago. I assume he still visits family there, but that's likely it.

    In any case, I liked him before I even thought about going to Florida.

  • Brett L||

    Listen, I'm going to kick Hogtown whether it deserves it or not, whenever the opportunity arises. I refuse to let facts get in my way.

  • ||

    Hogtown. You know Gainesville suspiciously well.

  • Brett L||

    Native Floridian, 2nd generation FSU, 16 of 32 years spent in FL. My mom works in G'ville for a hospice, my brother lives in Orlando and my dad (folks still married) lives in St. Pete, so most holidays are spent in centrally located in Gainesville, which I might have a better opinion of if I weren't dipping in there for 2 days of mandatory family time and dipping out. And the Tallahassee v. Gainesville thing.

  • ||

    Tallahassee and Gainesville are more alike than different. I lived in both. Lots of trees.

  • Brett L||

    You know how it is. Like the English and the Irish, we hate more the people who could be us if they weren't stupid and wrong.

  • ||

    I was in Athens once. It's like Gainesville and Tallahassee, too. Which offended me.

  • Seminole Wind||

    hardly any trees at all, dipshit; this land was once a nice place

  • Ben P.||

    His folks made him, and he permanently escaped decades ago. I assume he still visits family there, but that's likely it.

    Wasn't his cousin the Sheriff of Alachua County for a bit, too? I seem to remember that happening after I was forced to leave the University for the much less beloved skyline of Fort Lauderdale in the mid-90s.

  • ||

    In this day and age of absolute musical freedom, I fail to see why you can't escape the Petty from time to time.

    I think it's interesting this relatively modern idea that music has to be new and not heard much to be enjoyed. Beating the crap out of songs can make you want to take a break from hearing them, but it shouldn't make a good song into a bad one.

  • ||

    What would be the point of making a satire of a song almost no one has ever heard?

  • ||

    Again, you cut to the heart of the issue.

  • ||

    What would be the point of making a satire of a song almost no one has ever heard?

    It's the latest hipster fad.

  • ||

    That's so perfect that I'm disappointed that it's probably not true.

  • sarcasmic||

    I also don't watch reruns. Though I will reread books.

  • ||

    In all seriousness, I don't get at all the idea that books you like shouldn't be read many times. I tell people I've read something like, say, Dune, The Power and the Glory, and The Count of Monte Cristo ten times each, and they look at me like I'm insane.

  • ||

    Re-reading is a great pleasure that some people discount. It would be like listening to a CD once / watching a DVD you bought then putting it on the shelf forever.

    There are a few books I know I've read more than 20 times. Hell, in one particular dire situation, I read the same book cover-to-cover four times in two days.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Hell, in one particular dire situation, I read the same book cover-to-cover four times in two days.

    Well yeah, but that could just be due to your advancing dementia.

  • ||

    Well yeah, but that could just be due to your advancing dementia.

    Huh? What are you talking about?

  • Waldo||

    Lord knows I'd still be lost if not for your Sugar.

  • ||

    Lord knows I'd still be lost if not for your Stilgar.

    Misread based on context.

  • Apatheist||

    I reread my favorite books too though the list is very short. I've read the Hyperion books by Dan Simmons probably a dozen times now.

    People look at you like your insane because many people don't read at all. Maybe it's an age thing but reading books for pleasure was considered odd in both my highschool and college.

  • Brett L||

    I read the cover off of Dune, Ender's Game, and a couple others. I'm on my 4th (5th?) copy of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, because friends and lovers who've always heard about it but never read it borrow it and keep it. Then when I want to re-read it, I'm forced to buy a new one.

  • Ben P.||

    Then when I want to re-read it, I'm forced to buy a new one.

    Same thing happened to me with Roger Zelazny's Lord of Light and Heinlein's Take Back Your Government. I think I've been through 6 copies of the former and 3 or 4 of the latter.

  • ||

    People look at you like your insane because many people don't read at all.

    I like a lot of it--even among readers--is that it is a time sink if you don't read fairly quickly. I don't consciously speed-read, but I read very fast. (Re-)reading is just not a big time commitment on my part.

  • ||

    "I think a lot of it* brain/finger don't work for me :-(

  • ||

    "I think a lot of it* brain/finger don't work for me :-(

    repetitive-stress damage from page turning and holding-open 800page paperbacks.

  • sarcasmic||

    People look at me like I'm insane when I tell them I've read all six Dune books, let alone that I've read the first one too many times to count.

  • ||

    I like all of the books, though the first is by far the best. And it was just a bad dream that his son wrote additional Dune books.

  • ||

    everytime I reread the Dune series, it's like it's new all over again. Little things I never noticed before pop out and make the story even richer.

  • sarcasmic||

    I'm half way through #4 in the Dark Tower series. I know I will read them again.

  • Brett L||

    Quit after 4! The idea that there are more than 4 Dark Tower books is also a bad dream. And there is definitely no last chapter titled "Coda" in the non-existant 7th book. Great, now I've got to get a van and a time machine and go down to Sarasota.

  • sarcasmic||

    I read the Tolkien books too many times to count, but once they became hip I lost interest.

  • Gojira||

    The idea that there are more than 4 Dark Tower books is also a bad dream.

    I liked the ending. It was the only thing he could have done; he was bound to piss off some people no matter what, and I thought that was the most diplomatic way to close it out.

  • ||

    ---"I'm half way through #4 in the Dark Tower series. I know I will read them again."---

    You may change your mind when you finish the series.

  • Gojira||

    I rarely re-read fiction, though I have read each of those you listed twice, I believe.

    I re-read nonfiction a lot, because 1) it's usually a dense history book, and 2) I don't have a photographic memory, so every time I read them again, I rediscover and retain some new facts.

  • ||

    Yes, I re-read nonfiction, too.

  • Zeb||

    Now I want to read the Count of Monte Cristo again.

  • ||

    Now I want to read the Count of Monte Cristo again.

    Darth Vader is the Count's father.

  • ||

    I just did (on the Kindle). It's just an awesome novel.

  • Ben P.||

    I've made a point the past few years of going back and re-reading some of the Sabatini stuff as well -- Scaramouche, for example, and Captain Blood.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Everyone likes Petty.

    Define "everyone". Because I guess I'm either not "every" or not "one".

  • ||

    Only good, clean Americans.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Oh. Well then, yeah, I guess so.

  • AlmightyJB||

    If you don't love Petty, you don't love America.

  • ||

    You really are an unAmerican subversive type.

  • sarcasmic||

    I've never liked Mellonpoop or Springspleen, so I guess I must be unAmerican.

  • ||

    No, that's a good thing. I think I like maybe one song, kinda sorta, by each of them.

  • ||

    No. That just makes you an American with good taste. Those guys suck. Petty is really good.

  • sarcasmic||

    Petty was really good.
    Now he's a tired old man who plays tired old songs.

  • ||

    His music remains good. That hasn't changed. Whether he's not making any good original stuff is neither here nor there. Very few artists can produce high quality for extended periods.

  • sarcasmic||

    I suppose if I hadn't spent many many years trapped in kitchens with the radio blaring the same tired shit over and over and over and over and over and over I might concur.

    But I don't.

  • ||

    Maybe it would help if you replaced the original lyrics with something else (scroll down to the two Petty parodies).

  • sarcasmic||

    Nope.

  • ||

    Maybe if I beat you on the head with a herring?

  • sarcasmic||

    Only if it's red.

  • ||

    No, but it is pickled.

  • sarcasmic||

    No thanks. I like my smoked sardines in olive oil, but pickled herring doesn't do anything for me.

  • ||

    That's why I'm using it as a bludgeon.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Me neither. Here is a humorous song about law enforcement from the classic OC punk band Doggy Style.

  • AlmightyJB||

    I don't like Cougar or the Boss either. Never have. I did hear someone play Red Headed Woman (I think live)on the jukebox a few months back though and I have to admit it I enjoyed it.

  • FRACKING ALERT||

    FRACKING BLAMED FOR EARTHQUAKES IN OHIO!

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....story.html

    ***END FRACKING ALERT***

  • AlmightyJB||

    She said she wanted fracked hard. What was I suppoded to do? Sorry.

  • ||

    The U.S. Supreme Court's rulings dealing with dog sniffs emphasized that people do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the possession of contraband...

    Well I do have a reasonable expectation of privacy when NOT in possession of contraband and since a search would be required to determine either state of being, I expect privacy at all times and fuck you.

  • sarcasmic||

    You are all considered guilty until you prove your innocence by submitting to a search.

  • ||

    This shows how much narrower the 4th Amendment has gotten even in the last 20 years. Back when I was taking criminal procedure, this was an easy case. It is established that you have no expectation of privacy for what the unaided eye can see from the street. So if cop doesn't need a warrent to walk by and look at your house from the street and plants in the window. But cops cannot use things that enhance their senses like infrared detectors and such. You do have an expectation of privacy against those kinds of measures.

    In this case, the dog is just a tool. No brainer. The cops need a warrant for the dog just like they would need a warrant for a pot sniffing machine.

    That this is somehow now an issue, is very scary.

  • Gojira||

    But they're drugs, John, don't you get it? The 4th amendment must be temporarily set aside until we have achieved a drug-free society, and then we can think about reinstating it.

  • ||

    come to think of it, can we really trust elections while the possibility that people using drugs are out there voting? Better suspend those too.

  • Gojira||

    Good point. As Jan Brewer, states-rights champion gov. of Arizona, has already found out, The People ™ simply can't be trusted to vote the right way when it comes to drugs, so sometimes the Feds have to intervene.

  • ||

    Well, I think the real question here is the reliability of the dogs.

    Binoculars or drones or helicopters enable police to see visually what's going on in a way they couldn't with their naked eye on the ground, and then make a determination as to whether there's cause to go in. To a certain extent this is true of IR as well, though the ability to see through walls makes this more than just an enhancement of vision.

    Even a pot detecting machine that lights up when pot is detected could have its design analyzed and be tested in a lab to see under what circumstances it screws up.

    But the dog is just a black box that can't be analyzed and whose "signals" are part of the animal's normal behavior. I'm sure pot-sniffing dogs do sit at other times in their lives besides when they smell pot.

  • ||

    Doesn't matter. The dog still sniffs things that the cop can't without aid. That makes Rover no different than an inferred detector.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    Sure, but if say one could prove dogs are wrong say 40% of the time, should a dog's positive finding result in a search at all?

    Of course how do you count false negatives and even a full study, could be refuted by 'we train differently' or whatever without some thing additional.... like say biological reasons dogs might be probe to failures...

    I guess I've just never been convinced of the canine's accuracy with respect to these types od duties, including bomb sniffing.

    I wonder if any studies do exist.....

  • Colonel_Angus||

    If it can be seen with binoculars or from aircraft, then it most likely can be seen without them.

  • jasno||

    You speciest bastard - why should a dog's intuition be treated any differently than a human's? They *are* officers, afterall...

  • jasno||

    wait.. .speciest? spiceyist? no... um.. speciesist.. yeah, that's it.

  • ||

    Bringing the dog in is the search, not probable cause for one. The 4th lies bleeding and bruised.

  • ||

    My dog sits down when she's tired of standing - or I say "sit".

  • ||

    And if you can train a dog to sit on the occasion of smelling something you can also train them to sit with a subtle hand motion or even an inflection in your voice. Dog are eager to please and observant of patterns that lead to praise.

  • ||

    And they don't talk. To it is real hard to tell if that is the reason they are sitting. Even if you are well intentioned, it is very easy to fuck up and get the dog to sit for the wrong reason. Dog handling is a serious skill that requires a lot of training and practice. Why am I skeptical that such a subtle and complex skill is beyond the ability of most cops?

  • sarcasmic||

    Don't forget that cops lie. If the dog doesn't give the indication that the cop wants, and he doesn't like the guy, he'll make sure the dog gives the indication that he wants.

  • ||

    TOP. MEN. WHAT PART OF THAT DO YOU FUCKING PEASANTS NOT UNDERSTAND ZZOMG!11oneoneone

  • Zeb||

    I'm sure many of them are quite skilled dog handlers. So skilled in fact that they can get the dog to signal whenever they want it to.

  • Ben P.||

    Plus, you can't cross-examine them.

  • ||

    They should put the dog on the stand at the trial.

  • sarcasmic||

    The dog is a member of the police department, so it will just lie like any other cop.

  • Gojira||

    "Where did you find the pot plants, Officer Snoopy?"

    "Roof!"

    "Objection! The witness is clearly perjuring himself; the evidence clearly shows that the plants were found in the basement!"

    *jury gasps*

  • ||

    [grr]

    "Permission to the treat the witness as hostile?"

    [whimper]

  • sarcasmic||

    Obviously the evidence is perjuring itself because cops never lie.

  • ||

    Obviously evidence should be illegal.

  • ||

    One of the best Far Side's ever featured a court room with a German Shepherd sitting in the witness chair. The defendant is whispering to his lawyer

    "People warned me that this breed will sometimes turn on you."

  • Mainer||

    Heck, my Pomeranian is 9 years old, and she still comes to me and sits or speaks or goes into the down position, and then looks at me expecting a treat. No subtle cues required.

  • sarcasmic||

    My pug just spins around like an idiot because she's an idiot.

  • Gojira||

    ^^ Ditto on the pug.

  • sarcasmic||

    There is a perfectly round patch beaten into the snow by the backdoor where she spins waiting to be let in.

  • Gojira||

    Mine has a tongue too long for his mouth, so there's always an inch or two hanging out.

    The dumbass comes inside all the time with twigs and shit hanging off of it, and it actually gets sunburned. Fucker could just slurp more often, but instead lets stupid shit happen to him.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    Every pug small bulldog type dog I've ever seen leaves shit stains on carpets all the time because they apparently have something wrong with their ass.

  • sarcasmic||

    Mine doesn't.

  • jasno||

    Methinks sarcasmic has brown carpeting...

  • ||

    There is a perfectly round patch beaten into the snow by the backdoor where she spins waiting to be let in.

    Beats having a perfectly round patch beaten into the carpet by the back door where she spins waiting to be let out!

  • Colonel_Angus||

    Fag.

  • Brett L||

    Or when you look at her expectantly while going through the behavior where she gets a treat when she sits.

  • Apatheist||

    Charlie: What if he can smell crime?
    Mac: ...what if he smells crime?
    Charlie: Dude dude dude dude dude dude dude! What if he can smell crime before it even happens?
    Mac: Holy shit dude, that's amazing! Smells crime before it even happens! Yes, dude!
    Charlie: WHAT IF HIS ENTIRE HEAD IS JUST ONE BIG NOSE! Write that down, I like that.

  • May I Ask?||

    Why is it a problem that police use dogs to better find evidence to stop crimes? If we had dogs could smell a murder or a robbery would we really be so concerned about using them to save peoples lives?

  • ||

    Murder and Robbery involve Victims.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    (1) Because murder and robbery legitimately are, in fact crimes. They are acts of aggression by one person against another, resulting in real and serious injury or damage to the victim. Having a plant that the puritannical "drug warriors" don't like growing in your kitchen should not be a crime. It victimizes noone and threatens nobody's life or safety.

    (2) The Constitution guarantees freedom from unreasonable and unwarranted searches and seizures, and the right to confront your accuser, which includes cross-examination. It is unreasonable to use the fact that dog copped a squat on the doormat as a pretense to initiate a search of someone's home. And how do you cross-examine a dog?

    (3) You evidently lack a reasonable understanding of the fundamental principles of the Fourth Amendment. If the only goal was to help police to "better find evidence to stop crimes," then why don't we just go back to issuing writs of assistance? Google the term and get back to us.

  • May I Ask?||

    If we going to throw roadblocks and barriers in the way of basic police work (aka finding criminals and arresting them) how can we expect the police to prevent crimes and protect us?

    It's important to think through the ramifications of handcuffing our police forces instead of handcuffing criminals.

  • ||

    Is being purposely obtuse a felony yet?

  • ||

    *purposefully (intentionally would've worked too)

  • Warden Gojira Norton||

    Nothing stops. Nothing... or you will do the hardest time there is. No more protection from the guards. I'll pull you out of that one-bunk Hilton and cast you down with the Sodomites. You'll think you've been fucked by a train! And the library? Gone... sealed off, brick-by-brick. We'll have us a little book barbecue in the yard. They'll see the flames for miles. We'll dance around it like wild Injuns! You understand me? Catching my drift?... Or am I being obtuse?

  • Zeb||

    You mean roadblocks like the 4th amendment and search warrants?

    I think that the answer is: Fuck you.

  • ||

    Beat me to it. (shakes fist)

  • ||

    The Bill of Rights. How does that shit work, anyway?

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Trolling should be an arrestable offense. Particularly shitty trolling such as this. Body cavity search is recommended.

  • Jumbie||

    The police need to protect us is not so dire that it justifies creating difficulties for innocents.

    2nd, you pose a false dilemma, by positing that some restrictions on the cops means they will be less effective. And it's a further fallacy to claim that they will be less effective to the point of being ineffective.

    May *I* ask...

    By your reasoning, why bother with trials, warrants or any of that bullshit that 'handcuffs' cops?

  • Michael S. Langston||

    Define 'handcuffing police' as it doesn't seem that requiring police to have more evidence than Rover's machinations to enter your property and search, would be handcuffing....

  • BakedPenguin||

    Balko had a column where he pointed out that dogs are really, really good at pleasing their masters. So if a cop thinks someone has dope, the dog is going to "indicate", regardless of whether there's anything going on or not. This National Geographic special goes into that.

  • ||

    Dogs are fabulously empathetic creatures. They read human emotions better than other humans do. It takes a hell of a skilled dog handler not to influence his dog.

  • ||

    I think Humans lost that skill by becoming more preoccupied with hiding their own emotions from others.

  • ||

    Dogs are fabulously empathetic creatures. They read human emotions better than other humans do. It takes a hell of a skilled dog handler not to influence his dog.

    So it's not too much of a stretch to believe that a dog, sensing how much its master enjoys making arrests, will do what it can to hasten that process.

  • sarcasmic||

    And if the dog doesn't "indicate", the cop may give some subtle command to get it to anyway.
    Just because we're told that cops are honest doesn't mean that they are.

  • Zeb||

    Since readin that column, I have been pretty amazed that drug dogs are accepted as evidence at all. They are nothing but PC machines.

  • sarcasmic||

    You're problem is that you're coming from a point of view where guilt is important.
    Guilt does not matter.
    Convictions matter.
    Besides, if the person isn't guilty of what they're charged with, they're guilty of something.
    Best to convict on the side of caution.

  • ||

    Obviously I'm anti-drug war so I don't think this should be pursued in the first place.

    However, I'm actually kind of mixed on the method itself - isn't the anonymous tip the cops received already enough evidence to merit a search in the first place? On the basis of most no-knock raids it seems the case. The dog sniff-test was a reaffirmation that they weren't acting simply on an anonymous tip, it seems like they were actually being more careful to preserve the rights of the person than merely sending in the SWAT team and busting down the door.

    Still I guess that doesn't presuppose that they couldn't have gotten a warrant for the sniff test on the basis of the tip, then done a fuller search if necessary. More a question of degree for me I guess.

  • ||

    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.

    No, an anonymous tip is not enough.

  • ||

    Constitution schmonstitution...

  • ||

    Like, just some moldy old words in a language no one even speaks any more, totally. UCSC strikes again.

  • Paul||

    Dead white men!11! Phew, for a second there, I got all 1994 on you.

  • sarcasmic||

    They had slaves!
    They didn't let women vote!
    They were rich!
    They wore funny clothes!
    They wore funny wigs!
    They had slaves!

  • ||

    They wore funny clothes!
    They wore funny wigs!

    Don't forget the invalidating power of wooden teeth!

  • Colonel_Angus||

    GO BANANA SLUGSZZZ!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • ||

    Unfortunately, the oath or affirmation can be that of the cop who took the tip. Hearsay is allowed for the purposes of getting a warrant.

  • Paul||

    Why didn't the cops use the Hearsay as the basis for their warrant, then? They already had hearsay, but they felt the drug dog was still needed as the basis for the warrant.

  • ||

    I'm not sure why they acted as they did.

    The Ryan Fredericks raid (where he killed the deputy thinking they were robbers) was based on an anonymous tip.

  • Paul||

    I'm no legal scholar but something tells me that all hearsay is not considered equal.

  • SIV||

    No, that raid was based on the word a known informant who broke into the property. I don't think the case ever settled the question of whether the break in was at the request of the police.

  • ||

    Yeah, it's a system that I can't possibly see a way to abuse. [cough, ack] Sorry, that level of sarcasm is hard on my sore throat.

    I think what makes it especially galling is that the most common offenses against the 4th is in furtherance of stopping "crimes" that shouldn't be crimes in the first place.

  • sarcasmic||

    Drug related crimes are popular because they're easy to prove.
    Since a drug user is not likely to show a cop the proper respect and trust that they deserve, chances are that if a cop gets a sense that he doesn't like somebody, he just might find drugs on him.

  • Anonymous tipper||

    He, officer, that guy Proprietist has crack in his pocket, I'm just certain of it. He's also a dick who looked at my girlfriend the wrong way. Also, he may be armed.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    SCOTUS case law requires that an anonymous tip has to have a sufficient degree of specificity and detail to indicate that it is reasonable to believe it to be true (I'm totally paraphrasing here). So the cops can't act just on something like that. They would have to ask for more detail, such as "How do you know he has crack in his pocket?" Etc.

    Not saying this protects from the issue; just that they can't go search someone just because some anonymous guy calls and gives some bogus tip. Which is not to say they wouldn't.

  • sarcasmic||

    They can search someone if they feel confident that the person can't afford an attorney. Rights are meaningless if you don't have the coin to enforce them.

  • Spartacus||

    Yeah, unless the cops just make shit up to compensate for the missing specificty. This is the whole problem with allowing warrants based on hearsay. It shouldn't be done. If you can't get someone to appear in person and make the statement personally, under oath, to a judge, then there shouldn't be probable cause.

  • ||

    Note I'm in no way defending searches based on anonymous tipsters - merely pointing out how the law currently seems to be applied. I do think they need a warrant either way, but trying to get more evidence before barging in and killing someone's dog is a good thing.

  • Paul||

    And again this brings us back to the discussion about what cops can notice/hear/see when outside your home.

    There are those who insist that if the cops can detect it from outside the home, it's not an invasion of privacy. I says it is. Good on the Florida Supreme court on this one.

    In my opinion, this is no different than cops pointing a shotgun mic at your house and "hearing" conversations inside the home.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    What if a cop is walking down the street past your house and hears screaming and banging from inside your house? He has detected it from outside your home. He can't walk up to the front door and knock to investigate to make sure nothing is amiss?

    What if the cop is walking down the street in front of your house and he can see directly in the window because you left the blinds open, and he sees big bags of white powder on the kitchen counter, with a laboratory balance and a pile of $20 bills? He can't get a warrant based on what he's seen?

    The fact that a cop can "detect it from outside the home" to me does not automatically mean a search is either valid or invalid. But if it's something he, or anyone else walking past, could detect, and it's something that creates a reasonable suspicion that criminal activity is occurring, I don't have much of a problem with that forming the basis for further investigation and obtaining a warrant for a full search.

    The bigger issue here is WHAT activities are made crimes and how much resources are wasted on investigating them.

  • Paul||

    The bigger issue here is WHAT activities are made crimes and how much resources are wasted on investigating them.

    The more contraband a society has, the more reason searches are needed*.

    Without contraband, the only time cops would need to search is for evidence in a crime already committed: murder weapons, stolen property etc.

    The reason cops do so many searches is because they're looking for the mere existence of a substance where said existence constitutes the crime.

    *read justified.

  • CrackertyAssCracker||

    I agree that dog sniffing shouldn't require a warrant at all. It also should carry absolutely no legal weight whatsoever.

  • ||

    Some OT fucking bullshit here.

    CLEVELAND— The City of Cleveland is suing the State of Ohio so that it can put a local ban on trans fats in restaurants.

    "We're sending a strong message to the state today that we will stand up for the health of our children, our families, our neighborhoods and our communities," said Karen Butler, director of the city's Department of Public Health.

    Jesus Fucking Christ.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Maybe Cleveland will get some dogs that can smell trans-fats.

  • Apatheist||

    At least they're not Detroit. They're not Detroit!

  • Paul||

    said Karen Butler, director of the city's Department of Public Health.

    Karen Butler is unfit to run any public health department. She clearly has no idea what the Public Health dept is supposed to do, and undoubtedly would stare at you, deer in headlights like if you asked her about the Broad Street Pump.

  • Mainer||

    "Sending a message" Always and everywhere a terrible reason to have a law.

  • Nephilium||

    Because Cleveland needs to drive more businesses away... *sigh*

  • ||

    You know they could send a stronger message by just not patronizing those establishments that serve transfats.

    Then they could stop patronizing us.

  • ||

    Such an open-ended policy invites overbearing and harassing conduct.

    No way. These people are dedicated professional public servants, not some army of occupation; right, Scalia?

  • chris||

    That is indeed the line that blew my mind.

  • chris||

    Blew all the way up to the next post up from the one I wanted to thread.

  • ||

    Confident prediction:

    SCOTUS will uphold the search. Probably 9-0.

    That line about how you don't have an expectation of privacy for contraband just totally gives the whole game away. SCOTUS is officially on record that you only have due process rights if you haven't done anything wrong.

  • ||

    you only have due process rights if you haven't done anything wrong

    Excuse me while I split my desk in two with my forehead...

  • ||

    What does due process have to do with this? We're talking about reasonability of searches.

    The purpose of the 4th amendment is to protect innocent people from intrusions into their legal activities. It's not supposed to protect criminals from intrusions into their criminal activity.

    Now, in practice, you can't do the former without also doing some of the latter, but if you have a very reliable tool that allows you to only get information about criminal activities without intruding on legal activities, that's perfectly kosher.

    I don't think drug-sniffing dogs pass that smell test, though.

  • Gojira||

    I don't think drug-sniffing dogs pass that smell test, though.

    Pun intended?

  • ||

    The right of innocent people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against some forms of unreasonable searches and seizures (I mean, like what is reasonable to some people is like totally unreasonable to some, you know?), shall not be violated most of the time, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon hearsay and a conviction that we really, really have the right guy this time, supported by Oath or affirmation or buttonholing a sympathetic judge elected by idiots , and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
  • Paul||

    Not vague enough...

  • ||

    The...searches and seizures...shall...violate.

    Better?

  • ||

    What does due process have to do with this? We're talking about reasonability of searches.

    The requirement for a warrant issued upon oath or affirmation is a due process right.

  • ||

    It goes further than that though. If that were the only important issue then their would be no problem with IR cameras for instance. Using that while flying over or driving down the road is less intrusive than even running a dog through an apartment complex.
    But we consider privacy to be at least as important as detecting crime and so have disallowed the camera.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    This just in - cops in Texas have shot and killed a 15 year-old 8th grade student in the hallway of the school, because the kid had a handgun.

    I haven't seen anything more than that yet - including whether he was presenting a threat or shooting the gun or whatever.

  • Paul||

    Trevino says the school was immediately placed on lockdown, and no one else was injured. Trevino said he had no information on why the student had the gun.

    To protect the kids from the cops?

  • ||

    I haven't seen anything more than that yet - including whether he was presenting a threat or shooting the gun or whatever.

    But H&R will jump to conclusions anyway.

    If the gun was exposed and in the kid's hand that's a good shoot. Castle doctrine applies in schools too.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Castle doctrine applies in schools too.

    Not under any castle doctrine statute I've seen. Castle doctrine generally applies only to a "dwelling." It gets its name from the ages-old saying "a man's home is his castle." Do the cops live in the school?

    Not saying it might not have been a justified shoot; just that if so, it won't be under the castle doctrine.

  • ||

    Well, the spirit of the castle doctrine does.

  • ||

    in most states, and under the SCOTUS, cops never have a legal duty to retreat btw

    ample case law on this for decades

    it does not follow that not having a duty to retreat means having a right to use deadly force

  • Brett L||

    In FL and some other states, what began as having no duty to retreat from threatened violence before using lethal force in the home has beene expanded. No citizen going about his legal business has any duty to attempt to retreat before using lethal force if they feel threatened with imminent violence. It may still be called "Castle Doctrine", although in FL I hear it referred to as "the stand-your-ground law".

  • Restoras||

    So, just having a gun on one's person makes you a legitimate target for the cops?

  • ||

    If it's exposed and in a school and you refuse to give it up, yes.

  • Paul||

    If it's exposed and in a school and you refuse to give it up, yes.

    Wait, you didn't say that before. Earlier you merely said gun-in-hand = good shoot.

  • Restoras||

    yes, so which is it?

  • ||

    refusing to give it up is NOT justification to shoot. i say that AS a firearms and deadly force instructor

    but w/o details, it's impossible to know if it was justified or not

  • ||

    if i had shot everybody who had a gun on their person i have encountered, i would have shot AT LEAST a few hundred people in my career

    if had shot everybody who was holding a gun in their hand(s) when i approached, i would have shot AT LEAST a dozen people

    neither are the case

  • Paul||

    If the gun was exposed and in the kid's hand that's a good shoot.

    Since when did it merely require that you have a gun in your hand?

    So by this logic, my assertion that TV is way, way behind the times on the aggression scale is true. There is no "drop the weapon!"-- that's only for TV drama, now it's (in cops mind) "Is that a gun?!" *BANG*BANG*BANG*

    Good shoot.

  • ||

    again, this is all such stupid speculation

    we have no idea of the details, and the details are EVERYTHING.

    was the kid walking towards a classroom with the gun? if so, ok to shoot, even if in the back

    was he just standign there with it at his side, and cops had the drop on him?

    if so, NOT ok to shoot, etc.

    but the details are literally EVERYTHING.

    merely having a gun is of course not justification to shoot.

  • ||

    OK, given that the cops were responding to a call saying that the student had a gun, and he still had it when they showed up, that seems to indicate he had bad intentions.

    Also, a 15 year old 8th grader? Doesn't sound like an achiever.

  • Restoras||

    What does being an "achiever" have to do with anything?

  • ||

    If you don't get good grades then you're a criminal scumbag that deserves to be put down. Cmon, didn't NCLB make it easy enough to comply with this one simple demand?

  • Brett L||

    Eh. We'll see. Best case is they've learned the first lesson of Columbine/Ft. Hood/ Va Tech which is not to allow a shooter to establish himself comfortably. (The second one is that gun-free zones mean open season to committed shooters.)

  • Paul||

    Eh. We'll see. Best case is they've learned the first lesson of Columbine/Ft. Hood/ Va Tech which is not to allow a shooter to establish himself comfortably.

    So ixnay on armed cops waiting outside a fully populated school for 45 minutes while shots ring out?

  • ||

    imo, one of the most cowardly examples in the history of law enforcement

    one imo unforgiveable sin for a cop is cowardice.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    Yeah. I lived in CO at that time.... I recall vividly the proud announcement of the 5 seperate SWAT teams on site, none of whom entered until after it was completely over.

    Utterly worthless.

  • Paul||

    Also, a 15 year old 8th grader? Doesn't sound like an achiever.

    Guilty!

    *slams gavel down on desk*

  • ||

    But H&R will jump to conclusions anyway.

    that seems to indicate he had bad intentions.

    Now who's jumping to conclusions?

  • Paul||

    Someone has to get some exercise around here...

  • ||

    You have no "expectation of privacy" anywhere on the globe.

    Unless, of course, you are an agent of authority.

  • Maryland Cops||

    Hell fucking yeah!

  • Catfish||

    I know how it feels, Constitution.

  • ||

    *comment made while sitting on a curb, bloodied and broken, with a large anthropomorphic US Constitution*

  • Catfish||

    Gutted.

  • Tim||

    I'm pretty sure my dog would narc me out for a milkbone or some whippasnaps. Good thing he can't dial the phone.

  • Zeb||

    "The U.S. Supreme Court's rulings dealing with dog sniffs emphasized that people do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the possession of contraband"

    The millions of people who do drugs every day and never get caught woudl beg to differ.

  • Tim||

    Now cats are a cool animal. You never hear about the police using a cat.

  • adam||

  • ||

    Kitty Cat Clan ain't nothin' to fuck with.

  • ||

    oh they tried, but swiftly learned you can't get a cat to do anything. So they tazered it.

  • Cat||

    Because fuck you, that's why.

  • ||

    Wait! I certainly hope that no one is suggesting that cops - our public servants - ever lie in the course of their duties, servin' and protectin' and all.

  • ||

    Some people have no scruples.

  • ||

    sniffs do NOT search into an interior. they simply monitor the air outside a residence.

    they are wholly distinguishable from a search in that no intrusion is made into an area.

    clearly, if we could get rid of the WOD in the first place, this issue wouldn't come up as much anyway (i guess it could be used for explosives, etc. TOO, but it is almost always dope bullshit) but from a strict constructionist standpoint, it is pretty clear that sniffing the air outside the home is NOT a search

    it gives a bad result, but it's also correct on the law

    and of course the 4th does not establish a right to privacy (which my state constitution does), it merely prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures

    since the sniffing of the air outside a home is not a search in the first place, it can't be an unreasonable search

    what we NEED is a constitution that recognizes and protects a right to privacy, such as my state has . due to our WA state constitution, state and local LEO's are substantially more restricted vis a vis searches than under the federal standard.

    that's a good result

    but we shouldn't create penumbras and emanations because we are seeking a result

    the decision about searches leads to bad results, but it is correct on the law

    this sets aside the ACCURACY issue of dog sniffs, which is a seperate issue. clearly, if the dog sniff cannot establish the presence of drugs with a reasonable confidence, it is not PC

    note also that in states with medical MJ, the smell of MJ is NOT NOT NOT NOT (can i repeat that) evidence of a CRIME

    because MJ in a house is NOT ipso facto CONTRABAND.

    the cops would have to have evidence it was possessed WITHOUT a medical MJ exception, which they could never KNOW due to medical privacy when they are sniffing

    win for medical MJ

  • ||

    they are wholly distinguishable from a search in that no intrusion is made into an area.

    So, you'd have no problem with cops roaming your neighborhood, using a shotgun mike to listen to people in their houses?

    since the sniffing of the air electronic amplification of vibrations that originate inside a home from outside a home is not a search in the first place, it can't be an unreasonable search.

    Does it matter if the non-search is conducted on a person's property? The cops have the right to roam my property with their equipment, without a warrant, to conduct their non-search?

  • ||

    HTML fix:

    since the sniffing of the air electronic amplification of vibrations that originate inside a home from outside a home is not a search in the first place, it can't be an unreasonable search.

  • ||

    i HAVE A PROBLEM with dog sniffs. i am just saying that they are not unconstitutional, if done on the air outside a residence

    as for shotgun mikes, i agree with the SCOTUS, that since they are special technology that they create an intrusion, in the same way high tech infrared stuff does, etc.

    and imo, no the cops DOn'T have a right to be on your property EXCEPT on the common walk up paths, that others use, such as mailmen, delivery people, etc. which is the case law in most states

    again, i am not OK with any of this shit, because i don't think we should have a WOD in the first place

    what i am saying is that a LOT of shit i disagree with policywise, is STILL constitutional

    those are entirely different arguments

    judicial activists of any ideology, wish to twist the constitution to support their policy ideals

    it's ALWAYS wrong to do that, evne if it often has good results... in the short term

    i presonally don't think that ANY effort whatsoever should be spent by cops in regards to people possessing or smoking MJ in their own homes

    period. full stop

    but that's a policy issue, not a constitutional one

    furthermore, as i said, fortunately, in states with medical MJ, the presence of MJ in a home is NOT NOT NOT evidence of a crime unless the cops KNOW the person does not have a medical MJ card, which they can't know

  • ||

    what i am saying is that a LOT of shit i disagree with policywise, is STILL constitutional

    True enough. That said, the requirement that no search be conducted without a warrant supported by oath or affirmation seems pretty broad to me. We have so far departed from a plain reading of this clause that I think you may be thinking that we are arguing over policy when we are, in fact, arguing about the scope of Constitutional protections.

    We're parsing what counts as a 'search' here. Personally, I think its a search and you need a warrant if it isn't in plain view from the public ways.

  • ||

    except that's NOT what the 4th says. what it says is that searches and seizures must be reasonable..

    it does NOT say a warrant is required for a search. read it again

  • ||

    One more thought: Under the standard that says the cops need a warrant to use special equipment, using an electronic sniffer would require a warrant, but using a (allegedly) highly trained dog would not?

  • ||

    dogs have been used for hundreds of years by hunters (of various animals), by truffle hunters, etc. etc. and their keen sense of smell is an integral part of their general usefulness.

    dogs have more powerful and discriminating sense of smell than we do, of course, whereas we can't even SEE the infrared spectrum, etc.

    personally, i think the protection for the home, basically well established in const. law is MUCH higher than , for example, a car.

    i would have constitutional problem with, for example, a passive alcohol detector used during a traffic stop, since once the person breathes the air out, it's fair game.

    i think the air outside a car deserves far less constitutional protection than the air outside a house, for obvious "home is the castle" etc. reasons.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    If you are using it as a reason to access any personal property, including a house or a car, it is a search.

  • ||

    again, imo based on the federal constitution, if you are accessing a standard walkway open to the public as invitees or licensees, i disagree

    if you are entering any area where the person has a right to privacy, i agree.

    iow, cops can follow the mailman route without invading privacy

    we had a case (granted, we HAVE a right to privacy in my state) where cops thought a guy had a stolen car at his house.

    they had RS, but not PC.

    car was parked in the driveway, but had a car cover on.

    cops lifted the car cover, and license plate came back to a stolen car. thrown out for illegal search

    in another, the car was pulled up to driveway, no cover

    but you couldn't see the front (and only license) plate w/o walking around to the front of the car, which was in the drivweway to the right of the walkway

    cop did. got the plate. it was stolen

    still thrown out, since the courts ruled by walking over IN THE GUY's driveway to the front of the car, he invaded the person's privacy

    like it or not, a right to privacy, which we have, is substantially better than merely a protection against unreasonable search and seizure

  • Matrix||

    I hope the rightful owners got their cars back, correct? Was the decision just saying that the thieves could not be convicted?

  • ||

    yes. the cars are still stolen and are still returned to owners.

  • ||

    oh also, even if it is a search , if it's plain or open view, it does not require a warrant.

    i didn't want to delve down that path, but it is well established case law

  • ||

    I don't really care that dogs have been used by hunters for hundreds of years.

    How is that relevant to expectations of privacy, or justify an artificial distinction between the exact same kind of search done with a dog or an electronic device?

    My proposed "plain view" doctrine would encompass smells (the smell of alcohol on a person's breath) and sounds (the sound of gunshots) that are readily apparent to any member of the public. Anything beyond that, anything that entails the exercise of legal authority or special equipment, is a search requiring a warrant.

  • ||

    again, you beg the question

    you call it an artificial distinction. i call it a relevant distinction

    i think your proposed plain view doctrine is reasonable.

    i am just saying it's not the law

  • Colonel_Angus||

    "sniffs do NOT search into an interior. they simply monitor the air outside a residence"

    Shut the fuck up with your legal sophistry. You know damn well that "sniffs" are used as a basis to invade interiors.

  • ||

    it doesn't matter what they are used as the BASIS for, it matters what THEY are.

    again, that's not "legal sophistry" , that's legal analysis

    i find it ironic that "legal sophistry" is fine when defending somebody's rights, but not ok when defending an officer's actions

    it works both ways.

  • mr simple||

    How is it not a search? If a cop was driving by and smelled it that would be reasonable (SLD; against the drug war, just arguing the specifics), but if the police are using a tool that enhances their odor detection abilities I don't see how it's not a search. They're clearly looking for something specific and not just happening upon it.

    Also, how do they get away with taking an animal onto his property for this search? It seems to me that would be a violation of property rights and thus would need a warrant. What's to stop cops from taking a drug-sniffing dog door to door while asking for donations for something just to see if they get a response?

    Just asking.

  • mr simple||

    Guess I should have refreshed.

  • ||

    yea, in brief, mr simple, the cops (on a whim) can go anywhere the general public and delivery people can go, so the porch thing IN ITSELF is not dispositive.

    there was a local case with a dropped 911 call in my area where the dispatcher said it just sounded like a party in the background, not a disturbance

    cops came to the residence, there was a locked gate, and a no trespassing sign

    now, a standard drug sniff would not have been ok past the gate

    since there was a 911 call, though , cops had rasonable cause to enter

    they did NOT

    it turned out to be a scene of a multiple homicide. person calling had been in the process of being killed.

    oops.

    needless to say, taht agency made strict policy to ALWAYS check out the reisdence (not necessarily forcefully enter of course, but at least approach the house itself, not turn around at the gate) ex-post 911 call

    the cops probably would have been shot at IF they approached, so probably lucky for them, but still, just cause the dispatcher said it SOUNDED like a party, not a fight, a dropped 911 call is a dropped 911 call. you check it out.

    i've probably kicked at least 1/2 dozen doors in maybe a couple of hundred dropped 911 calls, but i ALWAYS go to the house, and look from the outside, listen, etc.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    Aside from actually entering a place or going through shit, any use of technology or animals that are intended to find things that a person could not, without entering a place or going through someone's shit, should also be considered a search.

    Using a dog is not much different from using infrared.

  • ||

    that's where we disagree, although i think this IS a fair argument

  • Colonel_Angus||

    It is the correct argument, if the legal definition of a search was consistent with the reasoning that makes using infrared illegal without a warrant.

  • ||

    You never hear about the police using a cat.

    Cats won't split the take.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Cats get way high is the problem. It's good for one bust and than it's off looking for pussy and tuna and a place to nap.

  • AlmightyJB||

    I think I need my own personal cop to follow me around and make sure that I only makes "good" decisions that are in accordance with current assholery ideals.

  • Tim||

    Think about that the next time a dog sniffs your crotch. WHo's he reporting to?

  • ||

    your wife. rub some gasoline on it. it itches, but it will throw off the scent of hauna punani he's reporting on

  • ||

    The purpose of the 4th amendment is to protect innocent people from intrusions into their legal activities. It's not supposed to protect criminals from intrusions into their criminal activity.

    Something something you have noting to fear. Now, lean forward, so I can ram this borescope up your anus.

  • Tim||

    TSA?

  • ||

    DEA???

  • ||

    of course the purpose of the 4th is to protect EVERYBODY from unreasonable search and seizures. whether they are guilty or innocent of a crime is entirely irrelevant to that test, but of course we, as libertarians should know that

  • ||

    +1

  • ||

    Because we don't know who's guilty and who's innocent at the time of the search, we have to tolerate the possibility that the guilty will be able to conceal evidence of their crimes via 4th amendment protections. But that's sure as hell not the purpose of the 4th amendment.

    The exclusionary rule (which is not in the constitution, btw) is only a punitive measure against the searcher. It's not a vindication of a guilty person's alleged right to hide evidence.

    So a search that can only negatively affect guilty persons (eg, a search which reveals only whether contraband is present) can be reasonable while a search under the same circumstances which can negatively affect innocent persons (eg, rummaging through the house manually) would be unreasonable.

    This is what SCOTUS was arguing in the case mentioned in the original post.

  • ||

    I mean, the reason we care about warrants in the first place is because the process of obtaining a warrant (in theory) establishes a high likelihood that there are criminals or evidence of a crime at the location to be searched.

    If guilty people have a right to hide evidence of crimes, why do we allow searches WITH a warrant?

  • ||

    Wait, the Supreme Court of one of the titan states made that decision? Wait, really?

    Fucking awesome -- there may be hope after all! Too bad the federal supremes will probably overrule it, eh? Constitutional republicanism, how the mother-fuck does it work?

  • ||

    note also that there were host of factors. iow, they didn't rule out all dog sniffs w/o warrant, just this one based on the factors present to include the cops being on the porch, the large # of cops present, etc. etc.

    regardless, if they ruled it unconstitutonal under the STATE constitution, the scotus would have no say

    my understanding is they did not

    many states have substantially more liberty loving, privacy protecting state constitutitons

    the problem is they don't protect people from FEDERAL LAW ENFORCEMENT

    since this case was local law enforcement, they have to act in accordance with stricter state standards, if such exists

    thank god my state has strict standards. for example, we can't search people's garbage at the curb, we can't search curtilage (on a mere whim) and we can't do overhead searches on a whim either

    all of which are okey dokey under the federal standard

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Franky says he smells pot. Or maybe he's just tired.

    Good boy Jake, good boy!

  • ||

    again, i realize many here aren't a huge fan of medical MJ in a perfect is the enemy of the good type sense, but i see medical MJ as KEY in these types of situations

    there is already growing case law (as there should be) in states that have medical MJ, in that merely smelling MJ is NOT PC of ANY crime because possession of same is perfectly legal IF the person has medical MJ exception

    granted, most states that have medical MJ prohibit smoking it in public, in a vehicle, etc. so that cops who smell MJ smoke (note: smoke) in a vehicle etc. may still have PC of a crime, but it WILL protect people in their homes

    i find it lame as fuck that any PD would be so candy ass as to get a warrant merely based on the smell of MJ from a home (iow absent evidence of a grow) since it's either a piddly as fuck misdemeanor, or in many cases, simply a civil infraction, but i know some candy ass agencies do so

    medical MJ prevents that

  • ||

    but of course we, as libertarians should know that

    "That Barney Rubble; what an actor."

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Does dunphy normally self-identify as a libertarian?

  • ||

    hmm, let's see...

    PRO RKBA

    anti-WOD

    anti-WODV

    pro legalization of prostitution, organ sales, drugs

    against food nanny laws

    pro legalize alcohol consumption for teens

    anti interventionist US as the world's policeman policy

    also

    for enforcement of our border (as is ron paul iirc)

    pro death penalty (but vacillate on this)

    strongly pro-capitalism - think business is grossly overregulated

    anti-income tax

    i realize i don't meet some people's litmus tests, whatever those may be, but those are my stances.

    if that is not libertarian by some's metrics, that's fine. i consider it so, and i think most would agree it is

  • ||

    also, pro recording of police (and cops recording of others... keep everybody honest)

    anti-smoking laws in bars, restaurants, etc. (i loathe smoking, but it's not my choice ... it's the business' choice)

    pro food supplements (pro DSHEA)

  • Auric Demonocles||

    I'm familiar with the fact that you consider yourself libertarian leaning, I didn't realize you actually identified as a libertarian.

  • ||

    yes, small l.

    i am not sure how ELSE you would label the above set of beliefs/principles.

    in brief, i think govt. should leave people the fuck alone to do their own thang, as long as they aren't hurting other people. and hurting people's feelings doesn't count

    i am a strong advocate of the 1st, 2nd, and 4th amendments.

    i think the country would be better off if we chopped about 1/4 of most states penal codes (huh... chopped penal) out,and probably a substantial %age more of the federal code.

    i also strongly believe in jury nullification as an essential element of rule of law

  • Coeus||

    I'm familiar with the fact that you consider yourself libertarian leaning, I didn't realize you actually identified as a libertarian.

    Blew my mind the first time I heard that too. It's as if ted nugent started calling himself a principled vegan because he doesn't like eating meat (though he keeps killing and eating it).

  • ||

    But where do you stand on ferrets?

  • ||

    as "animal companions", fur, or lunch?

  • F Hart||

    The U.S. Supreme Court has said that having a drug-detecting dog sniff luggage at an airport or a car during a traffic stop does not amount to a "search" under the Fourth Amendment and therefore does not require a warrant.

    So, I guess they won't mind if I fart in the dog's face, then.

  • bubba||

    the problem with these cases is that they never involve someone who is actually innocent.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    If you are on the sidewalk in front of my house, and using a dog as the reason to search my house because there might be weed in it, how is this different from standing on the sidewalk and using infrared to find out if there is weed in my house, which is considered an illegal search without a warrant? There is no difference in reasoning. At all.

  • ||

    A dog sniff reveals only the presence or absence of contraband. An IR image reveals a lot more, including legal objects and activities inside the home.

    Of course, it's likely that dogs are not a reliable indicator of contraband in the first place, and that all they reveal is that the cops want to search the house. But if the dogs were perfect that would be the justification.

  • ||

    and of course the dogs don't have to be PERFECT. no source of knowledge is.

  • ||

    Remember to keep red pepper and rasinettes in your car for the nice cop dogs when their handlers don't take go fuck yourself for an answer. I hear they like it a lot.

  • Coeus||

    and of course the dogs don't have to be PERFECT. no source of knowledge is.

    It'd be nice if I'd ever seen one do better than flipping a coin, though (and this is seeing dozens of searches in multiple jurisdictions, just like everyone else who went to high school from the '90s on). I don't think anything that unreliable would be allowed if it didn't give cops and end run around the 4th.

  • ||

    Nice doggie. You look thirsty. Have some ethylene glycol.

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