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.
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.
A welcome indication of the conservative leaning of Justice Alito.
Isn't this up to the Judge who grants the warrant?
Those of you arguing that "knock and announce" is not spelled out in the Constitution are missing the whole point.
The Bill of Rights is not an exhaustive list of all the rights the people enjoy. Indeed, many founders objected to the BOR precisely because some individuals would read it as exhaustive.
The knock and announce requirement was well enshrined in British law, Colonial American law, and then United States law. It was common understanding to our founders, so they did not need to include it by name in the BOR.
The founders also did not enshrine "guilty until proven innocent" in the Constitution, but how many of you would also want to ditch that?
Shame on the intellectually fradulent "orginalists" on the court for not going back to the framers of the Constitution for guidance. If they had, this decision would have been 9-0 against no-knock warrants.
Radley Balko, a Cato policy analyst and author of the upcoming Cato White Paper "Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Drug Raids in America," says: "The Supreme Court's decision today in the case of Hudson v. Michigan is regrettable. The rise of paramilitary-type police units conducting 'no-knock' raids on American citizens is a disturbing trend in domestic law enforcement. Police excess, procedural errors, and reliance on 'confidential informants' of dubious character have caused hundreds of violent raids to be waged on completely innocent civilians. Dozens of nonviolent offenders, bystanders, and innocents have been killed or injured as a result. Because the courts have set the bar extremely high in allowing victims of botched raids to sue police officers and their superiors, the only real defense left against wholesale disregard for the rule requiring police to 'knock and announce' before entering private residences was to exclude evidence seized in illegal raids. Today, the Supreme Court removed that defense.
"Because of today's decision we can expect to see an even more pronounced increase in the use of illegal, military-style no-knock raids. And we can expect to see more innocent civilians wrongly targeted."
In "No SWAT," Balko writes that 'no-knock' raids are "often launched on tips from notoriously unreliable confidential informants. Rubber-stamp judges, dicey informants, and aggressive policing have thus given rise to the countless examples of 'wrong door' raids we read about in the news. In fact, there's a disturbingly long list of completely innocent people who've been killed in 'wrong door' raids. It's impossible to estimate just how many wrong-door raids occur. Police and prosecutors are notoriously inept at keeping track of their own mistakes, and victims of botched raids are often too terrified or fearful of retribution to come forward."
I agree with this guy
You mean the police were required to knock first? What's the point? To give criminals time to hide evidence? If no one was home did that mean the police couldn't enter the premises? What an insanity!
Oh the horror, the horror, of it all.