Author Topic: Interesting case before the Supreme Court right now  (Read 5411 times)

Onyx Dragon

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Interesting case before the Supreme Court right now
« on: November 14, 2013, 12:02:01 PM »
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/11/14/stateline-supreme-court-roommate-police-searches/3525191/

Quote from: Maggie Clark off of the USAtoday.com site
The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday considered whether police should be allowed to search an apartment if one resident says 'no' and leaves the home, but a roommate says 'yes.'

The case, which stems from a gang-related robbery in California, could have broad implications for anyone living in an apartment, and potentially create new state guidelines for police officers investigating crimes. The decision could also settle disagreements on searches between state and federal courts in California, Colorado, Wisconsin, New York, Michigan, Oregon and the District of Columbia.

On October 12, 2009, the Los Angeles Police got a tip that Walter Fernandez, a suspected member of a gang known as the Drifters, had assaulted another man and had fled back to his apartment. When officers got to the apartment, they heard screaming and fighting through the front door.

The officers knocked and Roxanne Rojas, Fernandez's girlfriend, answered the door, holding a baby and looking bruised and bloodied. Police asked her if anyone else was at home and if they could search the apartment. Fernandez stepped forward and refused the search.

Police arrested Fernandez for the gang assault and left Rojas and her son to recover. About an hour later, after Fernandez had been taken away, one of the officers went back to Rojas, told her Fernandez had been arrested and asked one more time if they could search the apartment. Rojas said yes and signed an affidavit.

Police found a sawed-off shotgun, gang-affiliated clothes, ammunition and a knife when they searched the apartment, which they presented as evidence that Fernandez was guilty of the assault. Fernandez argued that the evidence was seized illegally.

The trial court and the California Court of Appeal, 2nd District, disagreed with Fernandez and allowed the evidence. The California Supreme Court denied Fernandez's appeal and the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the case.

So does the warrantless search run afoul of the Fourth Amendment prohibition against unreasonable search and seizure?

Justice Sonia Sotomayor seemed to agree that the search was illegal. "There was probable cause in this case," Sotomayor said. "Just get a warrant. I don't know why that's difficult for police officers to understand."

The justices' questions mainly revolved around whether or not Fernandez's refusal was still valid after he'd been arrested, and whether his rights to refuse a search trumped Rojas' right to invite the police into her home.

"Her authority to protect her family should not be held hostage by an absent co-tenant," said Louis Karlin, the attorney for the state of California and the police officers.

But Fernandez's attorney Jeffrey Fisher disagreed, arguing that Fernandez's right to refuse a search "has to be valid until it's impossible to enforce," which would likely be until he was convicted of a crime and in prison.

Should the state of California win, defense attorneys worry the decision will further erode trust between communities and police.

"When the citizen advises the police of his choice (not to allow a search) and the police, rather than respect that decision, override it and enter his home nonetheless, it sends a clear message that individual choice will be respected only when it suits the government's purposes," wrote attorneys representing the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, in an amicus brief.

"When a citizen's request does not fit the purposes of the government, the police will engineer other means to the same end," the attorneys wrote.

This concern was echoed by Justice Elena Kagan, who worried that police could just arrest someone to remove them from the premises and then search a house.

Depending on the court's decision, police procedure on searches could change dramatically. "This could create a huge complication for officers because they would have to find out if at any time a co-tenant had refused a search," said Chief David Spotts, chief of the Mechanicsburg Police Department and executive board member of the legal officers section of the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

"What if they'd told a different police department that they refused a search? If the ruling is for Fernandez, I think this becomes a really complicated procedure for police to navigate in future situations with cotenants," Spotts said.

This case would have particular resonance in college towns, big cities or anywhere else with large concentrations of people living in apartments with multiple tenants. State courts in Colorado, New York and Wisconsin and four federal circuit courts have issued rulings allowing the police to search without a warrant as long as one tenant grants permission, after the refusing roommate left the apartment. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, a Michigan federal court, an Oregon state appellate court and the District of Columbia appellate court have issued opposite rulings.

The U.S. Supreme Court will issue a decision in the case next year.

Meatywand

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Re: Interesting case before the Supreme Court right now
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2013, 01:40:54 PM »
Very interesting...I would think that if both parties are on the lease and one of them gives consent to search (which is dumb, make them get a warrant) I think that would be pretty much it.
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Wheels84ss

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Re: Interesting case before the Supreme Court right now
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2013, 01:49:34 PM »
Very interesting...I would think that if both parties are on the lease and one of them gives consent to search (which is dumb, make them get a warrant) I think that would be pretty much it.

  That would be my thoughts, as long as they are on the lease it is their property to allow a search. I'm very curious to see how this plays out.
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Onyx Dragon

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Re: Interesting case before the Supreme Court right now
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2013, 01:52:52 PM »
Very interesting...I would think that if both parties are on the lease and one of them gives consent to search (which is dumb, make them get a warrant) I think that would be pretty much it.

Agreed.  But I think in the case that brought this up, it benefited the woman to allow the police to search her apartment.

jeepidude

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Re: Interesting case before the Supreme Court right now
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2013, 02:16:34 PM »
It makes sense that if one of the lessees agrees they can search the property, but it is blatantly violating the rights of the lessee who doesn't consent. In this scenario I think it should be procedure to obtain a warrant.

Meatywand

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Re: Interesting case before the Supreme Court right now
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2013, 02:36:33 PM »
It makes sense that if one of the lessees agrees they can search the property, but it is blatantly violating the rights of the lessee who doesn't consent. In this scenario I think it should be procedure to obtain a warrant.
Yeah...really weird case...but I'm all about making them get a warrant even though I don't do anything sketchy anymore...I just wouldn't be like come on in..
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Onyx Dragon

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Re: Interesting case before the Supreme Court right now
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2013, 03:43:30 PM »
Yeah...really weird case...but I'm all about making them get a warrant even though I don't do anything sketchy anymore...I just wouldn't be like come on in..

I would.  If my roommate was being stupid, it's his/her own dumb ass fault

Meatywand

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Re: Interesting case before the Supreme Court right now
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2013, 04:43:14 PM »
Well, depending on state law, if they found anything in the apartment or whatever you could get charged as well.....shit happened to my brother, his roommate had a grip of Xanax Bars and a bunch of weed and even though my brothers room was clean he still caught a possession charge because the stuff was in the apartment.
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I gazed through the open window upon a full moon.
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s-10 maniac

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Re: Interesting case before the Supreme Court right now
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2013, 01:01:58 AM »
If they have reason to search an apartment, why not just get a fucking warrant and void their consent?

Onyx Dragon

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Re: Interesting case before the Supreme Court right now
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2013, 06:55:21 AM »
Well, depending on state law, if they found anything in the apartment or whatever you could get charged as well.....shit happened to my brother, his roommate had a grip of Xanax Bars and a bunch of weed and even though my brothers room was clean he still caught a possession charge because the stuff was in the apartment.

A good lawyer can fight that so long as you're not dumb enough to let your roomie spread that shit through the house.

BTW, the cops were dicks for charging your brother when he didn't hassle them and let them in.

If they have reason to search an apartment, why not just get a fucking warrant and void their consent?

Let's use Meaty as an example.  They get a warrant but during the time they are waiting for the warrant let's say Meaty's brother destroys the evidence.  If they can get in and secure the evidence before someone destroys it, from a legal stand point as far as charging someone, they are better off.  People panic and do stupid shit all the time.

jeepidude

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Re: Interesting case before the Supreme Court right now
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2013, 09:01:22 AM »
Meaty's example is a great demonstration of why you never let cops search your place without a warrant.

Meatywand

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Re: Interesting case before the Supreme Court right now
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2013, 11:24:13 AM »
Yeah, my brother was actually asleep, in his room...and his other dumbass roommate let the cops in, and the 3rd dumbass roommate that had all the drugs had left his bedroom door wide open, thus, everyone in the apartment had "access" to the drugs therefore they could all be charged with possession...totally BS.
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Onyx Dragon

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Re: Interesting case before the Supreme Court right now
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2013, 11:41:07 AM »
Yeah, my brother was actually asleep, in his room...and his other dumbass roommate let the cops in, and the 3rd dumbass roommate that had all the drugs had left his bedroom door wide open, thus, everyone in the apartment had "access" to the drugs therefore they could all be charged with possession...totally BS.

That is a little thin.  I be a lawyer could get that tossed.

Meatywand

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Re: Interesting case before the Supreme Court right now
« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2013, 11:54:35 AM »
Oh yeah, he got off, but still he did get arrested and hauled to the station in cuffs and all that crap. But that is why you don't just agree to a search without a warrant. Amy knows better than to let cops into our place, even though theres nothing sketchy in our apartment, I'm still not going to let them waltz right in.
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Nothing says Alpha like getting your anus violated by another man

I gazed through the open window upon a full moon.
His name was Meatywand.

Onyx Dragon

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Re: Interesting case before the Supreme Court right now
« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2013, 12:47:58 PM »
Oh yeah, he got off, but still he did get arrested and hauled to the station in cuffs and all that crap. But that is why you don't just agree to a search without a warrant. Amy knows better than to let cops into our place, even though theres nothing sketchy in our apartment, I'm still not going to let them waltz right in.

Anyway, back to the main case.  The lady had nothing to lose letting them in.  He'd been abusing her and it was probably the best thing she could have done.

jeepidude

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Re: Interesting case before the Supreme Court right now
« Reply #15 on: November 15, 2013, 01:34:28 PM »
Anyway, back to the main case.  The lady had nothing to lose letting them in.  He'd been abusing her and it was probably the best thing she could have done.

In her situation, maybe. She shouldn't have been in that situation to begin with though. To me, having a roommate who beats me and has illegal items strewn throughout the apartment are signs that I might not have a very good roommate and I would look into ways to fix the situation like preemptively calling the cops or contacting the landlord or finding another apartment.

She had nothing to lose so long as the cops don't try to charge her since it's her apartment too... I don't trust that cops will assume I'm completely innocent and let me go my way after finding illegal materials in my roommate's area of the place, regardless if he beats me up or not. Could I get out of the charges, yeah, but I'm gonna have a bad time and spend lots of money on lawyers and probably lose my job.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2013, 01:35:03 PM by jeepidude »

s-10 maniac

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Re: Interesting case before the Supreme Court right now
« Reply #16 on: November 15, 2013, 04:43:47 PM »
Let's use Meaty as an example.  They get a warrant but during the time they are waiting for the warrant let's say Meaty's brother destroys the evidence.  If they can get in and secure the evidence before someone destroys it, from a legal stand point as far as charging someone, they are better off.  People panic and do stupid shit all the time.

The cops are better off...yes.  But I don't care about that.  If we're talking about making it easier for cops then just say so.  And if that's the case why not just get rid of warrants all together?

Yes people panic and do stupid shit all the time...like letting the police bully and coerce them into warrantless searches.

Onyx Dragon

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Re: Interesting case before the Supreme Court right now
« Reply #17 on: November 15, 2013, 06:01:15 PM »
The cops are better off...yes.  But I don't care about that.  If we're talking about making it easier for cops then just say so.  And if that's the case why not just get rid of warrants all together?



You're making an assumption.  The assumption you are making is that EVERYONE is innocent, even the blatantly obvious guilty.

Meatywand

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Re: Interesting case before the Supreme Court right now
« Reply #18 on: November 15, 2013, 06:33:49 PM »
Innocent until proven guilty in a court of law....that applies to everyone.
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Onyx Dragon

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Re: Interesting case before the Supreme Court right now
« Reply #19 on: November 15, 2013, 07:41:43 PM »
Innocent until proven guilty in a court of law....that applies to everyone.

If you're flushing evidence, you're guilty.  Nothing you can say can excuse the destruction of evidence.

s-10 maniac

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Re: Interesting case before the Supreme Court right now
« Reply #20 on: November 15, 2013, 08:16:21 PM »
If you're flushing evidence, you're guilty.  Nothing you can say can excuse the destruction of evidence.

Guilty of what?  Using the toilet?  You're not guilty until you've had your day in court and sentenced by a jury. 

You're making an assumption.  The assumption you are making is that EVERYONE is innocent, even the blatantly obvious guilty.

The only assumption I made was that we were living in a free country with Constitutional rights.  There are reasons, and damn good reasons, for not allowing police, fbi, dea, or any other law enforcement agency to kick in the door of whoever's house they want.

Why anyone would willingly allow any of these people to search their house without a warrant is beyond me.  Anything they find CAN be used against the you.

Now, with that said, I don't completely right off LEOs.  I know several good cops.  However, cops do not have a halo on their head and they do not stand on a shiny gold pedestal.  They are not different from you and I.  They are humans.  There are uncountable documented cases of Law Enforcement in this country and others that abuse their power, steal, kill, are bought off, or are just downright assholes.  This is not me saying that this applies to every cop....that is far from the truth, but it does happen...and to ignore that fact is sad.

And that is my biggest concern anytime I have dealings with law enforcement, which is RARE, but it does happen.  I don't know this guy, why would I tell him something that may or may not eventually cost me my money or time?  Why would I let these strangers inside my house if I do not have to?



Just look at China....below a 3rd less prison population with 3x the total population of America.  No thanks :)

 :police:

Meatywand

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Re: Interesting case before the Supreme Court right now
« Reply #21 on: November 15, 2013, 10:28:14 PM »
Dem For Profit US Prisons....
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Onyx Dragon

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Re: Interesting case before the Supreme Court right now
« Reply #22 on: November 28, 2013, 09:34:54 AM »
Guilty of what?  Using the toilet?  You're not guilty until you've had your day in court and sentenced by a jury. 

The only assumption I made was that we were living in a free country with Constitutional rights.  There are reasons, and damn good reasons, for not allowing police, fbi, dea, or any other law enforcement agency to kick in the door of whoever's house they want.

Why anyone would willingly allow any of these people to search their house without a warrant is beyond me.  Anything they find CAN be used against the you.

Now, with that said, I don't completely right off LEOs.  I know several good cops.  However, cops do not have a halo on their head and they do not stand on a shiny gold pedestal.  They are not different from you and I.  They are humans.  There are uncountable documented cases of Law Enforcement in this country and others that abuse their power, steal, kill, are bought off, or are just downright assholes.  This is not me saying that this applies to every cop....that is far from the truth, but it does happen...and to ignore that fact is sad.

And that is my biggest concern anytime I have dealings with law enforcement, which is RARE, but it does happen.  I don't know this guy, why would I tell him something that may or may not eventually cost me my money or time?  Why would I let these strangers inside my house if I do not have to?



Just look at China....below a 3rd less prison population with 3x the total population of America.  No thanks :)

 :police:

No, the assumption you are making is that if a cop is standing in a room, sees a guy walk into a room, walk up to another guy without saying a word and stab him, you're saying he's innocent.  The man could say "I'm guilty, it was a random act of violence for no reason at all other than I felt like it" and you're ok with that.  In this case, the lady had nothing to lose, so she let the police in.  The fact that the guy had stuff around is his problem.  He should have thought of that before sharing a place with someone.

As for your little chart, how many crimes does China put you to death for?  It is also not like here, where you get to appeal and appeal (I'm not saying that's a bad thing in itself)  Also, knowing China's track record for throwing political dissidents in prison and anyone that simply doesn't agree with their government, I am calling BS on that chart.  I'm willing to bet China classifies certain prisoners as "Political Education" so they don't list them as prisoners.

jeepidude

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Re: Interesting case before the Supreme Court right now
« Reply #23 on: November 28, 2013, 02:08:00 PM »
No, the assumption you are making is that if a cop is standing in a room, sees a guy walk into a room, walk up to another guy without saying a word and stab him, you're saying he's innocent.  The man could say "I'm guilty, it was a random act of violence for no reason at all other than I felt like it" and you're ok with that.  In this case, the lady had nothing to lose, so she let the police in.  The fact that the guy had stuff around is his problem.  He should have thought of that before sharing a place with someone.

As for your little chart, how many crimes does China put you to death for?  It is also not like here, where you get to appeal and appeal (I'm not saying that's a bad thing in itself)  Also, knowing China's track record for throwing political dissidents in prison and anyone that simply doesn't agree with their government, I am calling BS on that chart.  I'm willing to bet China classifies certain prisoners as "Political Education" so they don't list them as prisoners.

So you disagree about China's prison population without any actual sources... that's fine... It doesn't discredit that fact that we have an absurdly high prison population per capita.

The example you gave doesn't invalidate the fact that legally you're innocent until proven guilty. The cop witnessed a crime and he would arrest the person and he would then go to court and he would be tried for those charges, and probably found guilty based on the evidence and the cop's testimony. However, for example, there's a possibility the person went temporarily insane and (if he could prove it...) be found not guilty.

There are some extra steps in there but the point is he won't walk away after the cop witnessed the crime.

Wheels84ss

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Re: Interesting case before the Supreme Court right now
« Reply #24 on: December 03, 2013, 08:08:38 AM »
  Very quick research from the source says Onyx is absolutely right...

http://www.prisonstudies.org/images/news_events/wppl9.pdf

The BBC article that used your graphic leads back to the international centre for prison studies
http://www.prisonstudies.org/

  Right in their document it states China's numbers are sentenced prisoners. It does not count pre-trial confinement or "administrative confinement"

  Comparing our numbers to anyone else's is a fools errand. We have to declare everything from county jails to prisons for child support to Murder. Most other countries pick and choose what prisoners and for what crimes get declared so the numbers are always skewed.
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