Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Supreme Court Almost Blows Case on Search of Home
The Supreme Court of the United States is a sick joke.
In this case, what should have been a slam-dunk 9-0 in favor of the defendant, turned out to be a razor-thin victory for our rights.
I am a retired local law enforcement officer, a former K9 handler, hate bad guys and am all for nailing people who violate the law. I do not, however, support violating in any way the fourth amendment unless an immediate threat to public safety exists or if a victim cannot be rescued by any other means. In the latter cases, my take was that my job was to end the threat and deal with the courts later.
"The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that police cannot bring drug-sniffing police dogs onto a suspect's property to look for evidence without first getting a warrant for a search, a decision which may limit how investigators use dogs' sensitive noses to search out drugs, explosives and other items hidden from human sight, sound and smell.
The high court split 5-4 on the decision to uphold the Florida Supreme Court's ruling throwing out evidence seized in the search of Joelis Jardines' Miami-area house. That search was based on an alert by Franky the drug dog from outside the closed front door.
Justice Antonin Scalia said a person has the Fourth Amendment right to be free from the government's gaze inside their home and in the area surrounding it, which is called the curtilage.
"The police cannot, without a warrant based on probable cause, hang around on the lawn or in the side garden, trawling for evidence and perhaps peering into the windows of the home," Justice Antonin Scalia said for the majority. "And the officers here had all four of their feet and all four of their companion's, planted firmly on that curtilage — the front porch is the classic example of an area intimately associated with the life of the home."
He was joined in his opinion by Justices Clarence Thomas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan."