By LVBear | January 15, 2009
From this news article:
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said the guilty should not “go free” just because a computer error or a misunderstanding between police officers led to a wrongful arrest or search.
He said good evidence, even if obtained in a bad search, can be used against a suspect unless the police deliberately or recklessly violated his rights.
I am sickened by this. The potential for abuse of the “honest mistake” or “misunderstanding between police officers” is truly frightening. Even having to litigate whether a bad search was intentional or not is absurd. There will be many more “honest mistakes” and “misunderstandings” now.
Defense attorney: Officer, what probable cause did you have to search my client?
Officer: Oh, it was a misunderstanding between police officers. I thought I heard my partner say the defendant is an ex-felon and has a gun sticking out of his waistband. I must have misunderstood him.
This might be one of the stupidest decisions this Supreme Court has made. First Hiibel, now this. I guess the Justices have forgotten how things are done in the real world. They should get out of their ivory tower once in a while.
The exclusionary rule is the only thing that has worked fairly well in reducing cases of abuse of police powers. Anything that weakens the rule, and leaves it open to case-by-case interpretation, is a big step in the wrong direction. This is a sad day for our country.
Herring v. United States
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