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Cinnamon

Supreme Court gives police more power to stop and question people

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 Cinnamon    24,639

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday gave police more power to stop people on the streets and question them, even when it is not clear they have done anything wrong.

In a 5-3 ruling, the justices relaxed the so-called exclusionary rule and upheld the use of drug evidence found on a Utah man who was stopped illegally by a police officer in Salt Lake City.

The court, in an opinion by Justice Clarence Thomas, said that because the man had an outstanding arrest warrant for a traffic violation, the illegal stop could be ignored.

“In this case, the warrant was valid, it predated (the police officer’s) investigation, and it was entirely unconnected with the stop,” Thomas wrote for the court.

The court’s three women justices strongly dissented and warned that the ruling will encourage police to randomly stop and question people because they face no penalty for violating their constitutional rights against unreasonable searches. They said racial minorities in major cities will be most affected.

“The court today holds that the discovery of a warrant for an unpaid parking ticket will forgive a police officer’s violation of your Fourth Amendment rights,” Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote in dissent.

“Do not be soothed by the opinion’s technical language: This case allows the police to stop you on the street, demand your identification and check it for outstanding traffic warrants — even if you are doing nothing wrong,” she wrote. “If the officer discovers a warrant for a fine you forgot to pay, courts will now excuse his illegal stop and will admit into evidence anything he happens to find by searching you after arresting you on the warrant.”

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http://personalliberty.com/supreme-court-gives-police-more-power-to-stop-and-question-people/

PAPERS PLEASE!  (do you really think they will say please?)

 

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