Jul 29 2011

Kentucky vs. King: Your Constitutional Rights

In May 2011, thanks to a case in Kentucky, the Supreme Court dismantled the 4th Amendment as it pertained to drug cases. They have set precedence that police must only “hear movement” to conclude the occupant of a home is destroying evidence of a crime. This invades a citizen’s private sanctuary. No longer do you have the right, to privacy in your own home. Understand your rights and the recent changes in the law.

Here are the facts in this case. The police were looking for a suspect on a drug related crime who had fled into an apartment complex. When they arrived at the apartment building, there was one of two units, they were sure that the suspect was in. Smelling the scent of marijuana, they chose the unit that did not contain the suspect. Once the police announced they were at the door, they felt they heard “the destruction of evidence” and entered the apartment without a search warrant.

The ironic part of this case is that the original suspect, who took refuge in the apartment next door, never received any charges.

The Supreme Court ruling was 8-1 in favor of the police. Judge Ginsberg, the one judge to rule in favor of the defendant, argued in her dissent: “The Court today arms the police with a way routinely to dishonor the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement in drug cases. In lieu of presenting their evidence to a neutral magistrate, police officers may now knock, listen, then break the door down, never mind that they had ample time to obtain a warrant.”

Posted in: Criminal Law Posted by: admin

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