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UTAH v. EDWARD JOSEPH STRIEFF JR. Slow death of the 4th Amendment?

Astral Peaks

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Joined
Nov 9, 2010
Messages
26,005
This case started in 2006, when the Salt Lake City police got an anonymous tip reporting drug activity at a house. An officer monitored the house for several days and became suspicious at the number of people he saw entering and leaving. When one of those people, Edward Strieff, left to walk to a nearby convenience store, the officer stopped him and asked for his identification.
A routine check revealed that Mr. Strieff had an outstanding “small traffic warrant.” The officer arrested him based on that earlier warrant, searched him and found a bag of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia in his pockets.
Normally, evidence the police discover as a result of violating the Fourth Amendment (which this stop was) is considered “fruit of the poisonous tree” and is suppressed under what is known as the exclusionary rule.

As Justice Sonia Sotomayor argued during oral hearings, “What stops us from becoming a police state and just having the police stand on the corner down here and stop every person, ask them for identification, put it through, and if a warrant comes up, searching them?”

But SCOTUS has held by a majority that the evidence harvested as a result of the stop is admissible, despite the perceived illegality of the stop itself.

Here's a citation not often seen in SCOTUS opinions:

"The Court today holds that the discovery of a warrant for an unpaid parking ticket will forgive a police officer’s violation of your Fourth Amendment rights. Do not be soothed by the opinion’s technical language: This case allows the police to stop you on the street, demand your identification, and check it for outstanding traffic warrants—even if you are doing nothing wrong. If the officer discovers a warrant for a fine you forgot to pay, courts will now excuse his illegal stop and will admit into evidence anything he happens to find by searching you after arresting you on the warrant. Because the Fourth Amendment should prohibit, not permit, such misconduct, I dissent. "

That by Sotomayor.

http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/15pdf/14-1373_83i7.pdf
 


Clanrickard

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 25, 2008
Messages
33,291
This case started in 2006, when the Salt Lake City police got an anonymous tip reporting drug activity at a house. An officer monitored the house for several days and became suspicious at the number of people he saw entering and leaving. When one of those people, Edward Strieff, left to walk to a nearby convenience store, the officer stopped him and asked for his identification.
A routine check revealed that Mr. Strieff had an outstanding “small traffic warrant.” The officer arrested him based on that earlier warrant, searched him and found a bag of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia in his pockets.
Normally, evidence the police discover as a result of violating the Fourth Amendment (which this stop was) is considered “fruit of the poisonous tree” and is suppressed under what is known as the exclusionary rule.

As Justice Sonia Sotomayor argued during oral hearings, “What stops us from becoming a police state and just having the police stand on the corner down here and stop every person, ask them for identification, put it through, and if a warrant comes up, searching them?”

But SCOTUS has held by a majority that the evidence harvested as a result of the stop is admissible, despite the perceived illegality of the stop itself.

Here's a citation not often seen in SCOTUS opinions:

"The Court today holds that the discovery of a warrant for an unpaid parking ticket will forgive a police officer’s violation of your Fourth Amendment rights. Do not be soothed by the opinion’s technical language: This case allows the police to stop you on the street, demand your identification, and check it for outstanding traffic warrants—even if you are doing nothing wrong. If the officer discovers a warrant for a fine you forgot to pay, courts will now excuse his illegal stop and will admit into evidence anything he happens to find by searching you after arresting you on the warrant. Because the Fourth Amendment should prohibit, not permit, such misconduct, I dissent. "

That by Sotomayor.

http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/15pdf/14-1373_83i7.pdf
How was the stop illegal?
 

Carlos Danger

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Joined
Nov 14, 2009
Messages
28,476
Website
www.youtube.com
From the Fourth Amendment:

"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 searched."

A person leaving a house where there was suspected drug activity (given by affirmation, particularly describing the place to be searched, by the anonymous tip off) would give probable cause to the arresting officer. Seems pretty cut and dry to me.
 

statsman

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 25, 2011
Messages
56,265
From the Fourth Amendment:

"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 searched."

A person leaving a house where there was suspected drug activity (given by affirmation, particularly describing the place to be searched, by the anonymous tip off) would give probable cause to the arresting officer. Seems pretty cut and dry to me.
If not, it's a pretty f#cked up policing system.
 

Dimples 77

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Joined
May 9, 2012
Messages
19,488
This case started in 2006, when the Salt Lake City police got an anonymous tip reporting drug activity at a house. An officer monitored the house for several days and became suspicious at the number of people he saw entering and leaving. When one of those people, Edward Strieff, left to walk to a nearby convenience store, the officer stopped him and asked for his identification.
A routine check revealed that Mr. Strieff had an outstanding “small traffic warrant.” The officer arrested him based on that earlier warrant, searched him and found a bag of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia in his pockets.
Normally, evidence the police discover as a result of violating the Fourth Amendment (which this stop was) is considered “fruit of the poisonous tree” and is suppressed under what is known as the exclusionary rule.

As Justice Sonia Sotomayor argued during oral hearings, “What stops us from becoming a police state and just having the police stand on the corner down here and stop every person, ask them for identification, put it through, and if a warrant comes up, searching them?”

But SCOTUS has held by a majority that the evidence harvested as a result of the stop is admissible, despite the perceived illegality of the stop itself.

Here's a citation not often seen in SCOTUS opinions:

"The Court today holds that the discovery of a warrant for an unpaid parking ticket will forgive a police officer’s violation of your Fourth Amendment rights. Do not be soothed by the opinion’s technical language: This case allows the police to stop you on the street, demand your identification, and check it for outstanding traffic warrants—even if you are doing nothing wrong. If the officer discovers a warrant for a fine you forgot to pay, courts will now excuse his illegal stop and will admit into evidence anything he happens to find by searching you after arresting you on the warrant. Because the Fourth Amendment should prohibit, not permit, such misconduct, I dissent. "

That by Sotomayor.

http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/15pdf/14-1373_83i7.pdf

It is indeed heading towards Police State USA.
 

Dimples 77

Duplicate Account
Joined
May 9, 2012
Messages
19,488
How was the stop illegal?
"Officer Fackrell was at most negligent. In stopping
Strieff, Officer Fackrell made two good-faith mistakes.
First, he had not observed what time Strieff entered the
suspected drug house, so he did not know how long Strieff
had been there. Officer Fackrell thus lacked a sufficient
basis to conclude that Strieff was a short-term visitor who
may have been consummating a drug transaction. Second,
because he lacked confirmation that Strieff was a shortterm
visitor, Officer Fackrell should have asked Strieff
whether he would speak with him, instead of demanding
that Strieff do so."
 

storybud1

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 25, 2011
Messages
6,742
ehh, a police officer uses common sense and of course that is slowly becoming a violation of human rights in this fooked up "rights" world !

The acrobatics performed by the "rights" industry are truly gone over the top, from mudering / terrorist /rapists that cannot be deported back to their homelands to Gilligan costing us millions of euro in legal aid appeals just because it can be done under human rights.

It is like the Met police in London being told not to search minorities by fookwit liberals and clowns not living in those areas ? yep, police officers just love to search people for a laugh, it is great fun, it is not their job or anything to stop dealers ?
 

publicrealm

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Joined
Aug 11, 2007
Messages
6,026
Does anyone know whether it is lawful for a member of the GS to search a person on suspicion of some offence - say possession of an illegal substance - is there some threshold of reasonable suspicion involved?

If not there must be a risk of harassment by rogue members- no?
 

Congalltee

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Joined
Nov 10, 2009
Messages
6,210
I would have thought that this was good policing instinct. The citizen emerged from a house which has a large number of visitors, which he was observed after a tip off it was being used for drugs. Is that not Reasonable suspicion/probable cause to stop and search.

What's the point in punishing the people by letting guilty of the hook if the prevention of a police state can be achieved by discipling the policeman?
 

sondagefaux

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 2, 2009
Messages
15,682
This case started in 2006, when the Salt Lake City police got an anonymous tip reporting drug activity at a house. An officer monitored the house for several days and became suspicious at the number of people he saw entering and leaving. When one of those people, Edward Strieff, left to walk to a nearby convenience store, the officer stopped him and asked for his identification.
A routine check revealed that Mr. Strieff had an outstanding “small traffic warrant.” The officer arrested him based on that earlier warrant, searched him and found a bag of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia in his pockets.
Normally, evidence the police discover as a result of violating the Fourth Amendment (which this stop was) is considered “fruit of the poisonous tree” and is suppressed under what is known as the exclusionary rule.

As Justice Sonia Sotomayor argued during oral hearings, “What stops us from becoming a police state and just having the police stand on the corner down here and stop every person, ask them for identification, put it through, and if a warrant comes up, searching them?”

But SCOTUS has held by a majority that the evidence harvested as a result of the stop is admissible, despite the perceived illegality of the stop itself.

Here's a citation not often seen in SCOTUS opinions:

"The Court today holds that the discovery of a warrant for an unpaid parking ticket will forgive a police officer’s violation of your Fourth Amendment rights. Do not be soothed by the opinion’s technical language: This case allows the police to stop you on the street, demand your identification, and check it for outstanding traffic warrants—even if you are doing nothing wrong. If the officer discovers a warrant for a fine you forgot to pay, courts will now excuse his illegal stop and will admit into evidence anything he happens to find by searching you after arresting you on the warrant. Because the Fourth Amendment should prohibit, not permit, such misconduct, I dissent. "

That by Sotomayor.

http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/15pdf/14-1373_83i7.pdf
If you're a junkie, pay your parking fines.
 

sondagefaux

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 2, 2009
Messages
15,682
Does anyone know whether it is lawful for a member of the GS to search a person on suspicion of some offence - say possession of an illegal substance - is there some threshold of reasonable suspicion involved?

If not there must be a risk of harassment by rogue members- no?
Personal searches
A garda can ask you to stop at any time. In certain circumstances, such as when you are driving, you must stop if asked to by a Garda. A garda can search you, without your consent, if the garda has reasonable suspicion that you have committed an offence. This includes people under the age of 18. The Garda should tell you why you are being searched.

...

Necessity for a Search Warrant
In most cases, a search warrant is necessary before a Garda may search a person, a vehicle or a premises. However, certain legislation entitles the Gardai to go on premises without a warrant, for example, the Intoxicating Liquor Acts, the Public Dance Halls Act, and the Health Acts.

If a Garda gets a search warrant relating to certain offences he/she may search the premises named and any person on the premises. Examples of this are a search warrant issued under the Offences Against the State Act 1939, or the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud) Offences Act 2001. Under the Criminal Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1979, as amended by Section 6 of the Criminal Justice Act 2006, the Gardaí can obtain a warrant in relation to an arrestable offence.

Other legislation, for example, the Dublin Police Act, the Misuse of Drugs Act, the Criminal Law Act and the Animal Remedies Act, entitles police officers to search you and/or your vehicle without a warrant.

If one of these statutes is being invoked in order to search you without a search warrant, you are entitled to told about it.

Evidence obtained on foot of an invalid search warrant or obtained without a warrant may be excluded by the trial judge and must be excluded if the search involved a deliberate and conscious breach of your constitutional rights.

In extraordinary excusing circumstances, the court may allow evidence obtained as a result of a deliberate and conscious breach of the Constitution. However, these circumstances are very rare, for example, a case involving an urgent need to rescue a victim in danger.
Powers of Search
 

publicrealm

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 11, 2007
Messages
6,026

Thanks for that.

I had a vague notion that a garda could search without consent if they had a reasonable suspicion - and I can see why this might be considered reasonable. However, this seems to me to be unsatisfactory in some ways - perhaps open to abuse.

An unscrupulous garda (I accept that most are entirely decent and straight - despite the bad apples) or a garda under orders from above - might easily form a 'reasonable suspicion' based on little or nothing. To harass someone, perhaps. Perhaps, in extremis, to suppress political dissent?

If a garda demanded to search me without what I might consider reasonable grounds I would think it a fundamental breach of my right to privacy. I would probably end up being done for resisting arrest! I might win in Court (because I'm from a 'respectable' background) but others might not.

I think there must be a case for automatic sanction if the power is abused.
 

ShoutingIsLeadership

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Joined
Jan 17, 2011
Messages
50,460
Thanks for that.

I had a vague notion that a garda could search without consent if they had a reasonable suspicion - and I can see why this might be considered reasonable. However, this seems to me to be unsatisfactory in some ways - perhaps open to abuse.

An unscrupulous garda (I accept that most are entirely decent and straight - despite the bad apples) or a garda under orders from above - might easily form a 'reasonable suspicion' based on little or nothing. To harass someone, perhaps. Perhaps, in extremis, to suppress political dissent?

If a garda demanded to search me without what I might consider reasonable grounds I would think it a fundamental breach of my right to privacy. I would probably end up being done for resisting arrest! I might win in Court (because I'm from a 'respectable' background) but others might not.

I think there must be a case for automatic sanction if the power is abused.
Thanks to a pretty bizarre Supreme Court ruling, evidence obtained where there was a breach of your constitutional rights, is admissible if it was done "by mistake", by the Gardai



Supreme Court overturns long-standing rule on a defendant's constitutional rights - Independent.ie
 

publicrealm

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 11, 2007
Messages
6,026

ShoutingIsLeadership

Well-known member
Joined
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Messages
50,460
Thanks Sil - very interesting.

I'm with the dissenters on this - better that a probable criminal go free than put our common constitutional rights at risk.
In a country which has an incompetent/corrupt police force, such a ruling is deeply worrying.

In my view!

You're welcome, btw.
 

owedtojoy

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 27, 2010
Messages
46,712
This case started in 2006, when the Salt Lake City police got an anonymous tip reporting drug activity at a house. An officer monitored the house for several days and became suspicious at the number of people he saw entering and leaving. When one of those people, Edward Strieff, left to walk to a nearby convenience store, the officer stopped him and asked for his identification.
A routine check revealed that Mr. Strieff had an outstanding “small traffic warrant.” The officer arrested him based on that earlier warrant, searched him and found a bag of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia in his pockets.
Normally, evidence the police discover as a result of violating the Fourth Amendment (which this stop was) is considered “fruit of the poisonous tree” and is suppressed under what is known as the exclusionary rule.

As Justice Sonia Sotomayor argued during oral hearings, “What stops us from becoming a police state and just having the police stand on the corner down here and stop every person, ask them for identification, put it through, and if a warrant comes up, searching them?”

But SCOTUS has held by a majority that the evidence harvested as a result of the stop is admissible, despite the perceived illegality of the stop itself.

Here's a citation not often seen in SCOTUS opinions:

"The Court today holds that the discovery of a warrant for an unpaid parking ticket will forgive a police officer’s violation of your Fourth Amendment rights. Do not be soothed by the opinion’s technical language: This case allows the police to stop you on the street, demand your identification, and check it for outstanding traffic warrants—even if you are doing nothing wrong. If the officer discovers a warrant for a fine you forgot to pay, courts will now excuse his illegal stop and will admit into evidence anything he happens to find by searching you after arresting you on the warrant. Because the Fourth Amendment should prohibit, not permit, such misconduct, I dissent. "

That by Sotomayor.

http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/15pdf/14-1373_83i7.pdf
A wise Latina, that lady.

The Supreme Court Just Ruled In Favor Of The Police State, And Sonia Sotomayor Is Not Having It
 

Astral Peaks

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Joined
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Messages
26,005
No matter how some on here might regard this as simply a common-sense decision
by the officer, it was still illegal and the 4th Amendment provides that evidence gleaned as a result of illegali searches is inadmissible.
This ruling will cause serious problems, not least amongst minorities and black communities.

Sotomayor, a former criminal prosecutor, warned that people of colour are the subject of particular scrutiny.
“This court has given officers an array of instruments to probe and examine you,” she added. “When we condone officers’ use of these devices without adequate cause, we give them reason to target pedestrians in an arbitrary manner. We also risk treating members of our communities as second-class citizens.

“Although many Americans have been stopped for speeding or jaywalking, few may realise how degrading a stop can be when the officer is looking for more. This court has allowed an officer to stop you for whatever reason he wants – so long as he can point to a pretextual justification after the fact.”


https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jun/20/sonia-sotomayor-opposition-evidence-unlawful-stops-police-crime-law
 

Nermal

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 9, 2010
Messages
1,327
"Officer Fackrell was at most negligent. In stopping
Strieff, Officer Fackrell made two good-faith mistakes.
First, he had not observed what time Strieff entered the
suspected drug house, so he did not know how long Strieff
had been there. Officer Fackrell thus lacked a sufficient
basis to conclude that Strieff was a short-term visitor who
may have been consummating a drug transaction. Second,
because he lacked confirmation that Strieff was a shortterm
visitor, Officer Fackrell should have asked Strieff
whether he would speak with him, instead of demanding
that Strieff do so."
Very specious reasoning there. Even if Strieff was not a shortterm visitor he still had probably cause. Or is he only allowed to question purchasers, not sellers?
 

Carlos Danger

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Joined
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Messages
28,476
Website
www.youtube.com
No matter how some on here might regard this as simply a common-sense decision
by the officer, it was still illegal and the 4th Amendment provides that evidence gleaned as a result of illegali searches is inadmissible.
This ruling will cause serious problems, not least amongst minorities and black communities.

Sotomayor, a former criminal prosecutor, warned that people of colour are the subject of particular scrutiny.
“This court has given officers an array of instruments to probe and examine you,” she added. “When we condone officers’ use of these devices without adequate cause, we give them reason to target pedestrians in an arbitrary manner. We also risk treating members of our communities as second-class citizens.

“Although many Americans have been stopped for speeding or jaywalking, few may realise how degrading a stop can be when the officer is looking for more. This court has allowed an officer to stop you for whatever reason he wants – so long as he can point to a pretextual justification after the fact.”


https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jun/20/sonia-sotomayor-opposition-evidence-unlawful-stops-police-crime-law
Again...

From the Fourth Amendment:

"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 searched."

A person leaving a house where there was suspected drug activity (given by affirmation, particularly describing the place to be searched, by the anonymous tip off) would give probable cause to the arresting officer. Seems pretty cut and dry to me.
Legislating from the bench isn't in Sotomayor's job description, rather reasoned interpretation of the US constitution.
 


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