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Old 06-15-2006, 01:08 PM   #1
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Is No Knock Unreasonable?

High Court Backs Police No-Knock Searches

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The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that police armed with a warrant can barge into homes and seize evidence even if they don't knock, a huge government victory that was decided by President Bush's new justices.

The 5-4 ruling signals the court's conservative shift following the departure of moderate Sandra Day O'Connor.

Dissenting justices predicted that police will now feel free to ignore previous court rulings that officers with search warrants must knock and announce themselves or run afoul of the Constitution's Fourth Amendment ban on unreasonable searches.

Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for the majority, said Detroit police acknowledge violating that rule when they called out their presence at a man's door, failed to knock, then went inside three seconds to five seconds later. The court has endorsed longer waits, of 15 seconds to 20 seconds.

"Whether that preliminary misstep had occurred or not, the police would have executed the warrant they had obtained, and would have discovered the gun and drugs inside the house," Scalia wrote.

Suppressing evidence is too high of a penalty, Scalia said, for errors by police in failing to properly announce themselves.
Does obtaining a legal search warrant satisfy the requirement for reasonable searches? Does a knock on the door make the search itself anymore reasonable?
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Old 06-15-2006, 02:57 PM   #2
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Why am I not surprised?

Nonestly I had no idea anyway that they had to knock, I knew about the announce thing but not that. Luckily I have no experience like that with the police. I think a knock and announce is perfectly reasonable to expect.
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Old 06-15-2006, 04:37 PM   #3
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It may be reasonable to expect, but is it Constitutionally required?

I find this an interesting case, because it challenges the status quo and forces a re-analysis in light of the Constitution. If a judge signs off on a search warrant, does that not establish, by itself, that a search is reasonable? What does a knock and wait add in the context of investitgating criminal conduct?
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Old 06-16-2006, 04:52 AM   #4
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How often has an announcement of warrant lead to a suspect fleeing or evidence being destroyed?

I consider the knock a courtesy, one that probably hasn't inhibited law enforcement terribly much. Could there be an allowance for no-knock in certain instances? I don't doubt that there are different proscribed actions for different conditons in place already.

I feel that no-knock could be abused if it was allowed in every situation.
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Old 06-16-2006, 06:33 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer

I consider the knock a courtesy, one that probably hasn't inhibited law enforcement terribly much. Could there be an allowance for no-knock in certain instances? I don't doubt that there are different proscribed actions for different conditons in place already.

I feel that no-knock could be abused if it was allowed in every situation.
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Old 06-16-2006, 08:21 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
How often has an announcement of warrant lead to a suspect fleeing or evidence being destroyed?

I consider the knock a courtesy, one that probably hasn't inhibited law enforcement terribly much. Could there be an allowance for no-knock in certain instances? I don't doubt that there are different proscribed actions for different conditons in place already.

I feel that no-knock could be abused if it was allowed in every situation.
I agree. With search warrants, most of them list specific items. They don't give the police the right to barge in and seize anything they want as evidence. I would even go beyond the politeness and argue that the knock is more for identification. Anyone has the right to demand a police officer show his or her badge. What if you were executing a search warrant at some yahoo's house and when you barged in, he thought you were thieves and open fired? I don't think it's always fair to assume that the people will know that it's the police and know what they've come looking for.

Arrest warrants, however, are different because often the knock/"it's the police, open up!" does give the suspect opportunity to flee.
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Old 06-16-2006, 10:25 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
I feel that no-knock could be abused if it was allowed in every situation.


A_W, you really need to trust the government more. they know what's best -- they need more power to keep us safe.

after all, this is why Roberts and Alito were put on the court.
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Old 06-16-2006, 11:22 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
How often has an announcement of warrant lead to a suspect fleeing or evidence being destroyed?

I consider the knock a courtesy, one that probably hasn't inhibited law enforcement terribly much. Could there be an allowance for no-knock in certain instances? I don't doubt that there are different proscribed actions for different conditons in place already.

I feel that no-knock could be abused if it was allowed in every situation.
You really have moved on to a second level of analysis, beyond what is constitutionally required to what we would really like (courtesy).

No-knock, as described in this case, is limited to situation where a judge authorized search warrant is issued.
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Old 06-16-2006, 11:24 AM   #9
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Alas I didn't have to learn any part of the US constitution in my civics class
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Old 06-16-2006, 11:28 AM   #10
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You probably know more than the average US student.

(can you find the US on a map?)
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Old 06-16-2006, 11:29 AM   #11
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It's South of Texas Right?
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Old 06-16-2006, 11:50 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
It's South of Texas Right?


Texas *is* the US.

or the only part of the US that matters anymore.
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Old 06-16-2006, 12:10 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader


You really have moved on to a second level of analysis, beyond what is constitutionally required to what we would really like (courtesy).

Yeah, you're making a good point.

Where does the Constutition factor in here? - Say Phil committed some awful crime. Since he stays at my house a lot, police want to search my place for something they think he left at my house. Meanwhile, Phil hasn't confided to me about the crime he committed, so I have no reason to suspect anything in my place of residence has anything to do with a crime. The police have a search warrant to search my home for a specific thing. I'm at home and I just got out of the shower so I'm naked, looking for some clothes. The police just barge in without any indication or identification. Now if they'd identified themselves as police officers, I would've put a towel on and let them in to search for the item. I would be VERY VERY pissed off and feel VERY VERY violated. Now, I don't like thinking of these weird hypotheticals, but if we're talking Constitutional rights, I've got to believe that my rights are somehow being violated by a bunch of unidentified men barging into my home while I, as someone who is not involved in any crime, am standing there naked.
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Old 06-16-2006, 12:11 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by LivLuvAndBootlegMusic
I'm at home and I just got out of the shower so I'm naked, looking for some clothes. The police just barge in without any indication or identification.


or, what if you had been at home smoking pot.

or, what if you were 20 and were having a beer.
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Old 06-16-2006, 12:32 PM   #15
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also, let's consider this as a reason for knocking:



[q]'He looked at me and shot. As soon as he had eye contact, he shot me'

· Brothers tell of moment officers raided their home
· Police apology two weeks after Forest Gate alert

Hugh Muir
Wednesday June 14, 2006
The Guardian

First he heard a scream. The next thing Mohammed Abdulkayar remembered was making eye contact in the darkness with the man who stood at the bottom of the stairs. At that instant, without warning and, he says, without provocation, the police officer fired a shot which tore through his chest and exited through his right shoulder. He slumped against the wall, bleeding and senseless.

Yesterday, three days after he was released without charge having been arrested and held for more than a week under the Terrorism Act, Mr Abdulkayar, 23, gave his account of the events which have devastated his family and plunged an already beleaguered Scotland Yard into even deeper crisis.

Speaking at an emotional news conference just half a mile from his now deserted family home in Forest Gate, east London, Mr Abdulkayar said: "I believe the only crime I have committed is being Asian and having a long length beard. He looked at me straight away and shot. As soon as I turned the steps and we both had eye contact he shot me.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/terrorism/...796915,00.html

[/q]
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