Supreme Court rules in favor of police in illegal search
by Marty Carlson
Last week in a divided ruling the Supreme Court upheld in fact bolstered police powers in ruling that an evidence of a crime may be used against the defendant even though it was obtained illegally.
The decision which was 5-3 drew some heated dissents from liberal justices who stated this would result in more violation by the police of people’s rights.
This particular case in which a detective illegally stopped Joseph Edward Strieff in Salt Lake City Utah and a name check revealed he had an outstanding warrant. Even though the officer was not aware of the warrant at the time of the stop.
This raise the question of whether the ballad warrant supersedes the illegal detention because the officer lacked any reasonable suspicion that the subject had been violating the law. This is one of the latest cases the court has questions whether evidence should be thrown out because the police did something wrong or illegal.
Justice Clarence Thomas said that the officers actions were not a flagrant violation of the law, though his decision to initiate the stop was mistaken misconduct was lawful.
Seriously folks try to figure that comment out.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor in a dissent said that decision is a blow to constitutional rights.
She went on to say that the court is now saying that the discovery of a warrant that was previously unknown, forgives any actions a police officer may take leading to the discovery of a warrant. Her dissent was also joined by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
In one portion of her opinion that expressed only her views so to Meyer also described the humiliations of unjustified police searches and minorities are going to be the victims of this type of scrutiny.
Justice Elena Kagan filed a separate dissent in which she said is the ruling not only upholds the illegal search and detention but also invites other police officers to do what was done here.
But Justice Clarence Thomas in his majority opinion said the fractals discovery of the arrest warrant attenuated the connection between the stop and the evidence seized leading to his arrest.
Jeffrey Robinson, deputy legal Dir. and Dir. of Center for Justice at ACLU, and trust me I am no fan of the ACLU, says that now police officers can stop anyone for virtually no reason now. They can ask your identification, see if you have a warrant, then you can be arrested.
Robinson did say that the number of outstanding traffic warrants are staggering, citing that the United States Department of Justice report found that three and four Ferguson residents have outstanding warrants.
Robinson was asked if there is anything citizens could do to seek recourse if they were stopped for no reason, he stated right now absolutely nothing because the Supreme Court just said that it’s okay.