T Nation

SCOTUS Says Cops Can Use Evidence Found After Illegal Stops


#1

Fuck them, and fuck the prosecution for even bringing this up. This is unfathomably disgusting.


#2

This is really fucking bad, I mean holy shit this is bad.


#3

You know it's a rough day when you agree with Sonia Sotomayor...


#4

This may the the one in a million times I agree with Sotomayor. It basically gives license for cops to stop you for any reason without just cause.


#5

Yup and not to derail the thread, but this is a prime reason I can't support restricting the 2A if you're on a no-fly list.

This ruling is fucking tragic.


#6

Well, they already had that. But at the very least they couldn't use what they found from illegal searches against you.

Now they can.

One can literally be pulled over for being black and wearing a flat brimmed hat in a BMW, and any evidence found can be used against you, including planted things you can't prove weren't yours.

Tragic is the correct word here. It's the very opposite our courts were set out to work. Burden of proof is shifting to the tried rather than the state.


#7

This has got to be one of the three worst SCOTUS rulings that I can think of. The other two being:

Roe v. Wade, and
Dred Scott v. Sandford


#8

That's not quite what the decision said. The decision was that the search was legal AFTER learning about the existence of an active warrant. The search occurred after that discovery. I may have issues with the officer keeping his job after making a stop without probable cause, but an active warrant does pretty much make one the property of the state.


#9

That is completely contrary to everything I've read.

My understanding is you could be stopped, for no reason other than "whim" and as long as they found something the stop was justified and could be used against you.

Edit: IE: they could kick down your door and ransack your house, without a warrant, and as long as they found something they were good to go, and all evidence gathered is a-ok


#10

I think it's a combination of what the two of you are saying.

My understanding is they can stop you illegally and if after the fact they find out you have an outstanding warrant then any evidence they found during the illegal stop can be used against you.


#11

Okay… That makes me slightly less sick to my stomach.

So it has to be an outstanding warrant?


#12

That is my understanding of the ruling.


#13

https://www.yahoo.com/news/supreme-court-utah-v-strieff-decision-fourth-amendment-095807921--politics.html

I believe the warrant was discovered PRIOR to the search.


#14

It doesn't seem clear to me, but I guess it makes sense that the search would occur after finding out about the warrant.

The issue I have, and I think this was at least part of Sotomayor's point, is with the initial stop without probable cause.


#15

Right.

Which makes the fact the LEO found the warrant moot, IMO. Had he known about the warrant before the stop, fine. Okay, no issues. But running the name for the warrant in the first place came from the “poisoned tree” imo.


#16

yes, but only because of an illegal stop.

I'm not saying the LEO was a dick or anything, and was doing an actual investigation into something I think the LEO should be investigating.

That said... Stop was illegal, so never should have been running his name to find the warrant.


#17

I'm curious how this is squared with Miranda rights? So if you're arrested because you have an outstanding warrant, aren't read your Miranda rights, and then incriminate yourself can that be used against you? It seems like, yes, it can be. That makes no sense.

Edit:

I guess this is 4th v. 5th, but still, I donno...


#18

The stop without probable cause is the only problem, assuming laws regulating drugs and traffic are legitimate.

How should the discovery of an active warrant and drugs be handled after an illegitimate stop? Should the officer be disciplined, or be charged with abduction? Should the drugs be returned to the arrestee, or should the warrant be reactivated upon his release so that he can be legitimately found? I would hope the justices asked themselves some of those questions in reaching the decision, instead of just blindly siding with a government.

If checkpoints are legal, it's hard to put up much of an argument against a stop that is at all related to an actual investigation.


#19

It's a tricky situation for sure...

I think you have to discipline the officer for the illegal stop, but I think you also have to detain the individual for the outstanding warrant.

I think any evidence found during the illegal stop should not be admissible, though.

That's what I think anyway.

I'm not a fan of checkpoints.


#20

The decision, I believe, was that the drugs were NOT found during the illegal stop, but rather during the search incident to arrest following the discovery of the warrant. The court ruled that the discovery of the warrant created a separate and legitimate cause for detention, if I'm not mistaken.