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.
It's right next to the separation of church and state clause. Near the right to abortion amendment.
It's all in there, you just have to look with the special socialist glasses the ACLU hands out.
Reading transcripts is like reading tea-leaves. A justice may ask tough questions not as an indication of how he or she may rule, but rather to reinforce their own reasoning. The decision is made after oral argument, not during (generally).
Consitutionally, it doesn't. If you're a drug dealer with "product" needing disposal, it would make a BIG difference. :-)
THIS IS GREAT NEWS! THE GOOD GUYS WIN ONE. THE DEMOCRATS MUST BE CRYING IN THEIR BEER.
1rudeboy, look, I've read plenty of SCOTUS transcripts and sometimes you are right, especially when it comes to O'Connor. However, in this case, it was obvious where she was going to go. Trust me. Even if we didn't have the transcript to assist us, we know her style. This decision flatly refusing to apply the exclusionary rule to this situation wasn't her MO at all.
If they've got enough probable cause to get a warrant, why give the alleged perps enough warning to get rid of any evidence? Actually, I'm po'ed that it was 5-4. This seems like a legal no-brainer to me.
"What the knock-and-announce rule has never protected...is one's interest in preventing the government from seeing or taking evidence described in a warrant. Since the interests that were violated in this case have nothing to do with the seizure of the evidence, the exclusionary rule is inapplicable," Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in the majority opinion in Hudson v. Michigan (04-1360)
Fair enough. I'm just leery of the O'Connor-as-stabilizing-force meme in the media.
Exactly right. Can you imagine Sandra going along with something like that? No, when she gave the originalists a victory, she always refused to join clear statements on the law, only narrow ones that refused to say anything and left her wiggle room to side with the lefties later. This is the first of many decisions in which Alito will make a very important difference, not just in the line-up of the vote, but in the quality of the opinions.
Obviously, they don't have to wait at all.
The first reply to this by DU was, of course, "Police state." I'm actually shocked they didn't get a mention of Hitler in there.
It is mind boggling how so many here consider the expansion of the power of the state to be "conservative."
Oh, I agree. The reason the media puts it in every article about the Court is clear. However, this is the rare case where I think we can honestly say that Alito cast the deciding vote.
O'Connor's style was to come up with complex decisions based on fine-tuned application of minutae. Believe me, she would have ruled for AND against with a series of "tests" that police must follow to differentiate between legal and illegal knocking.
Exactly. And neither police nor citizen would have any idea how the decision applied to the real world.
Lug, they have to have a warrant. So with a warrant in hand, why risk the cops and/or losing evidence by making like an Avon lady and knocking?
Just busting in violates the due process rights of an innocent door.
Subjunctive? What's a subjunctive?
Surely you're kidding. There is nothing in the Fourth Amendment about knock-and-announce. The warrant gives law enforcement the right to enter in any way they see fit.
Or are you merely arguing the contrarian position?
lol. Momma used to hassle me about grammar. When you are describing a condition contrary to fact, you use the subjunctive. I know you know, I'm just sayin'. The reason for it, in case any readers care, is that if you say "If O'Connor was on the court," it leaves open the possibility that she may have been, but you're not sure. By using the subjunctive, it makes clear that she was not on the court; you are merely discussing a hypothetical what-if.
Yeah. A jury's going to take the side of a bunch of scummy meth dealers when they kill a cop.
Are you high?
They've got a warrant. Isn't that due process? I just don't see how knocking first makes a difference. Let's say they knock and no one answers, but they've got a warrant. Do they have to leave and come back?
you'll find it in hitlers handbook though
Maybe you have a point and maybe decisions wouldn't have to be made like this if we lived in a perfect world, unfortunately we don't. I believe post #17 is a good example of the lack of common sense by those of the lefty persuasion.
Evidence is not "fruit."
Police investigations are not "trees."
Police errors are not "poisons."
There are better ways to punish overly aggressive cops than by throwing out evidence and letting criminals go free.
The Exclusionary Rule was invented by liberal, activist judges who always side with defendants and against the community's interest in justice and security.
Time to wave it bye-bye.
It's seventeen lines below the "Right to Abortion." Get your eyes checked. :)