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SCOTUS Approves Search Warrants Issued by Dogs
Reason ^ | February 19, 2013 | Jacob Sullum

Posted on 02/21/2013 9:01:01 PM PST by Altariel

Today the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that "a court can presume" an alert by a drug-sniffing dog provides probable cause for a search "if a bona fide organization has certified a dog after testing his reliability in a controlled setting" or "if the dog has recently and successfully completed a training program that evaluated his proficiency in locating drugs." The justices overturned a 2011 decision in which the Florida Supreme Court said police must do more than assert that a dog has been properly trained. They deemed that court's evidentiary requirements too "rigid" for the "totality of the circumstances" test used to determine when a search is constitutional. In particular, the Court said it was not appropriate to demand evidence of a dog's performance in the field, as opposed to its performance on tests by police.

***

Writing for the Court, Justice Elena Kagan accepts several myths that allow drug dogs to function as "search warrants on leashes" even though their error rates are far higher than commonly believed:

(Excerpt) Read more at reason.com ...


TOPICS: Miscellaneous; Pets/Animals
KEYWORDS: 4a; abuse; dog; doggieping; donutwatch; downutwatch; drugs; drugwar; elenakagan; fourthamendment; scotus; search; warondrugs; waronus; wod; wodlist; wosd

1 posted on 02/21/2013 9:01:15 PM PST by Altariel
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To: AnAmericanMother; Titan Magroyne; Badeye; SandRat; arbooz; potlatch; afraidfortherepublic; ...
WOOOF!

Computer Hope

The Doggie Ping list is for FReepers who would like to be notified of threads relating to all things canid. If you would like to join the Doggie Ping Pack (or be unleashed from it), FReemail me.

2 posted on 02/21/2013 9:04:54 PM PST by Joe 6-pack (Qui me amat, amat et canem meum.)
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To: Altariel

Who gets to say the dog is in fact “alerting”?


3 posted on 02/21/2013 9:08:41 PM PST by headstamp 2 (What would Scooby do?)
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To: headstamp 2

A bonified organization gave a degree to OH-Bow-MA!!!


4 posted on 02/21/2013 9:14:04 PM PST by Forrestfire (("To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society." Theodore Roosevelt))
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To: Altariel

Yuh, huh... in a previous SCOTUS case they said it was okay that these dogs only get it right 1/4 of the time.


5 posted on 02/21/2013 9:20:12 PM PST by Kevmo ("A person's a person, no matter how small" ~Horton Hears a Who)
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To: headstamp 2

Good question. Would the dog, or its handler, be called to appear and testify in court?.... hmm.


6 posted on 02/21/2013 9:24:44 PM PST by 4Liberty (Some on our "Roads & Bridges" head to the beach. Others head to their offices, farms, libraries....)
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To: Altariel

The supreme is constantly becoming more and more proficient at destroying the US constitution. I have ZERO Respect for them.


7 posted on 02/21/2013 9:35:27 PM PST by Revel
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To: Altariel

The problem aint the dog and its ability. It’s that the cop can say “the dog indicated,,,”. The cop can say that anytime, and nobody can prove differently. The dog can’t argue the point.

This is garbage law.


8 posted on 02/21/2013 9:35:54 PM PST by DesertRhino (I was standing with a rifle, waiting for soviet paratroopers, but communists just ran for office.)
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To: Altariel
Oh, good! Now everyone gets to go through a search because our money has been contaminated with cocaine and dogs alert on it!

Somebody alert the canine unit the next time Kagan goes out with cash on her person.

9 posted on 02/21/2013 9:46:29 PM PST by philman_36 (Pride breakfasted with plenty, dined with poverty, and supped with infamy. Benjamin Franklin)
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To: Altariel

Too much? Do I need an /sarcasm?


10 posted on 02/21/2013 9:48:30 PM PST by philman_36 (Pride breakfasted with plenty, dined with poverty, and supped with infamy. Benjamin Franklin)
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To: Altariel
How do you even know it's the same dog? Unless identifying marks are seen on video during the search, there's no way.

The cops could just take an uncertified mutt that is known to make false alerts and plant a package. Claim that the certified dog was used. Then the state can seize the victim's property.

It also wouldn't be hard to teach a certified dog to alert whenever a certain hand gesture or sound is made.

Dogs are pretty much our servants. They are NOT objective witnesses by any standard.

11 posted on 02/21/2013 10:03:19 PM PST by varyouga
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To: 4Liberty

Only if they can get someone to translate everything the dog says! Call in the K-PAX dude for the job!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bVfHNhBcMTw


12 posted on 02/21/2013 10:22:37 PM PST by Jack Hydrazine (It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine!)
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To: Kevmo

Had a friend in high school back in the every body is doing drugs 80s who was humiliated by a police dog ‘hit’ on his locker for his skunky gym socks.


13 posted on 02/21/2013 10:52:57 PM PST by autumnraine (America how long will you be so deaf and dumb to the tumbril wheels carrying you to the guillotine?)
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To: DesertRhino

Even if the dogs do smell something and can unmistakably tell a cop and we can take the cop’s word for it later, why do we let them do this? Dogs are cheating, same way x-ray vision through walls or aerial drones with infrared cameras would be, in my opinion. I understand the plain sight exception, and also the general principle that whatever is readily apparent is fair game. But that should be readily apparent to human beings, not genetically engineered smelling machines (i.e. dogs).

I don’t want to live in a country where the only way I can expect privacy is if I lock my property airtight, so as not to allow a single probable cause causing particle to waft past whatever technology the cops have comandeered for their nefarious purposes this week.


14 posted on 02/21/2013 10:57:52 PM PST by Tublecane
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To: Altariel

“Spot, speak”, he whispered to his dog.

The dog complied and barked viciously at the door.

“M’am, we’re going to have to search your house; our warrent has been issued by Spot.”

The cop whispered to Spot, “Good dog” as they tore apart the house.

And that is the story of how the fourth amendment became of non-effect.


15 posted on 02/22/2013 4:54:14 AM PST by Epsdude
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To: philman_36

....or everyone can go through a search, even without cash in their wallets, because the handler bandler cues the dog (voluntarily or involuntarily) to ‘discover’ drugs or drug residue on your person.

The fault isn’t the dog’s-—it’s just doing what all good dogs do: work to please their masters (with the hope of a little treat for a reward).

The fault is the man’s.


16 posted on 02/22/2013 6:03:30 AM PST by Altariel ("Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!")
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To: philman_36
Somebody alert the canine unit the next time Kagan goes out with cash on her person.

It was a unanimous vote - every single one of them should be alerted on and enjoy a keep-the-children-safe-from-drugs cavity search.

17 posted on 02/22/2013 10:26:05 AM PST by JustSayNoToNannies ("The Lord has removed His judgments against you" - Zep. 3:15)
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To: headstamp 2
Who gets to say the dog is in fact “alerting”?

I'll bet a lot of handlers can make their dogs "alert" at will.
18 posted on 02/22/2013 10:37:33 AM PST by Peet (TurboTax: "So simple even a Secretary of the Treasury can use it!")
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To: Epsdude

> “Spot, speak”, he whispered to his dog.
> The dog complied and barked viciously at the door.
> “M’am, we’re going to have to search your house; our warrent has been issued by Spot.”
> The cop whispered to Spot, “Good dog” as they tore apart the house.
> And that is the story of how the fourth amendment became of non-effect.

About what I was thinking... but I would like to see the spot where the dog’s signature is on the warrant... I mean they’re signed by the issuing authority, right?


19 posted on 02/22/2013 11:08:28 AM PST by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: JustSayNoToNannies
It was a unanimous vote - every single one of them should be alerted on and enjoy a keep-the-children-safe-from-drugs cavity search.

The Supreme Court is only supposed to decide cases based upon particular arguments brought before it and the legal applicability of particular remedies sought. While I don't know the details of this particular case, the fact that the decision was unanimous suggests to me that the arguments against the search may not have been the best ones possible, and as such the judges may have been entirely justified in ruling as they did. What is more fundamentally objectionable is that Supreme Court rulings end up being applied in situations which go far beyond the narrow scope of the case put before them, such that people end up being bound by court decisions to which they were never parties.

20 posted on 03/01/2013 4:15:56 PM PST by supercat (Renounce Covetousness.)
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To: Altariel

Maybe the courts should decide that the search is illegal only in those cases where the dog refuses to clearly testify as to how he determined what he determined.


21 posted on 03/01/2013 4:20:08 PM PST by Tau Food (Never give a sword to a man who can't dance.)
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