Skip to comments.Supreme Court: No exclusionary rule for no-knock searches
Posted on 06/15/2006 7:53:40 AM PDT by NinoFan
Breaking... Major 5-4 decision. This case was reargued and apparently Alito cast the deciding vote.
I would argue that, in a 5-4 decision, 5 votes are deciding.
Supreme Court upholds police evidence in searches without knocking
By GINA HOLLAND
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that police can use evidence collected with a warrant even if officers fail to knock before rushing into a home.
Justice Samuel Alito broke a 4-4 tie in siding with Detroit police, who called out their presence at a mans door then went inside three to five seconds later.
The case had tested previous court rulings that police armed with warrants generally must knock and announce themselves or they run afoul of the Constitutions Fourth Amendment ban on unreasonable searches.
Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for the majority, said 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.
The court did not say how long police officers must wait after knocking before they enter a home to execute a search warrant.
Suppressing evidence is too high of a penalty, Scalia said, for errors in police searches.
The outcome might have been different if Justice Sandra Day OConnor was still on the bench. She seemed ready, when the case was first argued in January, to rule in favor Booker Hudson, whose house was searched in 1998.
She retired before the case was decided, and a new argument was held so Alito could participate in deliberations.
Hudsons lawyers argued that evidence against him was connected to the improper search and could not be used against him.
Scalia said that a victory for Hudson would have given a get-out-of-jail-free card to him and others.
It weakens, perhaps destroys, much of the practical value of the Constitutions knock-and-announce protection, Justice Stephen Breyer wrote for himself and the three other liberal justices.
Breyer said that police will feel free to enter homes without knocking and waiting a short time if they know that there is no punishment for it.
Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, a moderate, joined the conservatives in the ruling. He wrote his own opinion, however, to say it bears repeating that it is a serious matter if law enforcement officers violate the sanctity of the home by ignoring the requisites of lawful entry.
bump for later. sounds interesting. Paging Sandy...you're wanted at the courtesy counter.
Look, the decision was 4-4 after O'Connor left, they needed to break the tie so they reheard the case once Alito got on the Court.
Any of the five justices could've been the deciding vote. I can't imagine eight justices sitting around in anticipation for Alito to cast his vote.
Don't buy into MSM hooey.
Yes, they sat around in anticipation. They had heard the case earlier in the term and were deadlocked 4-4. They needed to break the tie, so once Alito got on the Court, they reheard the case (oral arguments were geared toward him) and he cast the deciding vote.
Not that writers should know how to write or anything.
Good thing old Sandra Dee is GONE!
Bush legacy BUMP.
A welcome indication of the conservative leaning of Justice Alito.
Wow, I looked and just can't seem to find the phrase "knock and announce" in the Fourth Amendment. Mr. Breyer, would you be so kind as to point it out for me? Oh, guess not.
If you are willing to assume that O'Connor would've ruled otherwise, then Alito's vote was "deciding."
I'm not really a big law enforcement kinda guy, but where is the "knock and announce" protection in the Constitution? Something the SCOTUS invented along the way? I guess they've had to decide what is "unreasonable." I don't really get what the difference is if you knock or not, if you have a warrant. It might give me time to flush some drugs down the toilet, but how does it provide me any greater rights? They've got a warrant. I don't get it.
Nothing new there.
The transcript of the first round of oral arguments gives every reason to suspect that O'Connor would have gone the other way. Unlike some of the other justices, she made clear her thoughts on the matter.
True, but "unreasonable" is a nebulous term that the SCOTUS has basically defined over time. There's no getting around that. I just don't see what difference it makes if they knock. They've got a warrant. How does knocking make a difference?
"Knock, knock this is the police with warrent to search for drugs. If you have any you have 5 seconds to get rid of it."
Actually you do.
Maybe he found it in a Paraguayan statute.
Actually, it is new. While the Court has made plenty of minor exceptions to the exclusionary rule, it is the first time the Court has really bucked the Warren Court's Mapp v. Ohio ruling and refused to apply it to a fairly common situation.