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Supreme Court upholds warrantless search of apartment based on marijuana smell

mcwow

New Member
The smell of marijuana smoke and sound of evidence being destroyed is enough reason for police to knock down an apartment door and search the place without a warrant, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday.

In an 8-1 decision, the supreme court said the warrantless search of an apartment in Lexington, Kentucky was legal because of "exigent circumstances," which permits law enforcement officers to conduct a warrantless search if there is a strong likelihood of destruction of evidence.

In the case Kentucky v. King, uniformed Lexington police officers pursued a suspected drug dealer to an apartment complex. The officers approached an apartment door where they believed the suspect had entered, knocked loudly and announced their presence.

The officers said they could smell marijuana smoke and heard noises consistent with the destruction of evidence after knocking.

The officers then kicked in the apartment door -- which turned out to be the wrong apartment -- and entered, finding marijuana and powder cocaine in plain sight and finding additional evidence during a second search.

Lexington police officers eventually entered another apartment in the complex where they found the initial target of their investigation.


The Supreme Court of Kentucky had ruled that the initial search of the apartment was not allowed under the exigent-circumstances rule because the officers should have foreseen that knocking on the door would prompt the occupants to attempt to destroy evidence. The court said the officers could not "deliberately create the exigent circumstances with the bad faith intent to avoid the warrant requirement."

The Supreme Court of the United States ruled there was no evidence that the police had acted in "bad faith" and that the smell of marijuana and the noises created inside the apartment were sufficient to establish that evidence was being destroyed.

"Where, as here, the police did not create the exigency by engaging or threatening to engage in conduct that violates the Fourth Amendment, warrantless entry to prevent the destruction of evidence is reasonable and thus allowed," Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. wrote for the majority.

"Because the officers in this case did not violate or threaten to violate the Fourth Amendment prior to the exigency, we hold that the exigency justified the warrantless search of the apartment," the Supreme Court ruled, reversing the decision of the Kentucky Supreme Court.

"The court today arms the police with a way routinely to dishonor the Fourth Amendment's warrant requirement in drug cases," Justice Ruth B. Ginsburg wrote in her lone dissent. "In lieu of presenting their evidence to a neutral magistrate, police officers may now knock, listen, then break the door down, nevermind that they had ample time to obtain a warrant."
 

medme

New Member
what does "destruction of evidence" sound like? a toilet flushing? WTF......
 

G-Dog

New Member
So the cops screw up, terrorize an apartment complex and thru their unlimited funds of appeal overthrow the state supreme court of Kentucky. Lovely how our government beats us down and wins by trampling our rights as American citizens. May as well live in China.

I cannot believe the US Supreme court says that because cops screw up, go into the wrong apartment, they are still collecting legal evidence. There has to be something else we are not seeing as this sounds like a classic case of illegal evidence. I am guessing the suspects were minorities.
 

medme

New Member
just look at the rodney king beating,,,, they say they did nothing wrong.... WTF....

they BEAT that man, and it was caught on video, and they got away with it.... just sayin'

didn't mean to steal the thread,,,,,
 

Weed420

New Member
This is just one state and states constitutions differ on there approach to this issue. But its still bad for any state to violate 4th Amendment rights of its citizens. Law enforcement already gets a wide berth when it comes to these kinds of issues. It is again why we need good common sense people sitting on these juries to make sure the thugs don't get away with it.
It really is a good time for people to become more involved in juries. There are getting to be so many unconstitutional laws on the books that this is the only way to protect our civil rights any more.
 

G-Dog

New Member
This is just one state and states constitutions differ on there approach to this issue. But its still bad for any state to violate 4th Amendment rights of its citizens. Law enforcement already gets a wide berth when it comes to these kinds of issues. It is again why we need good common sense people sitting on these juries to make sure the thugs don't get away with it.
It really is a good time for people to become more involved in juries. There are getting to be so many unconstitutional laws on the books that this is the only way to protect our civil rights any more.

The final ruling was in US Supreme Court. This ruling effects Everyone in US Jurisdiction. The Kentucky Supreme court ruled in favor of the defendant but the state appealed to the US Supreme Court and finally beat him down.
 

Weed420

New Member
Even more reason to get on these juries. We the people, can still have the ultimate say on these matters. If we refuse to convict enough times they will stop trying these cases. The hard part comes in federal court where the laws are so lopsided no one can afford to go to trial, they have to plea bargain instead. Entrapment cases should be treated the same way. If the government provided material support for a crime to be committed then the government is guilty of that crime, so release the defendant.
 

G-Dog

New Member
Even more reason to get on these juries. We the people, can still have the ultimate say on these matters. If we refuse to convict enough times they will stop trying these cases. The hard part comes in federal court where the laws are so lopsided no one can afford to go to trial, they have to plea bargain instead. Entrapment cases should be treated the same way. If the government provided material support for a crime to be committed then the government is guilty of that crime, so release the defendant.
I am all for voting and serving on a jury, but this case was lost in the US Supreme Court. It is a panel of justices selected by presidents. The 9 panel of judges are selections by Democrats and Republicans. The one justice that didn't go along with the other 8, Justice Ruth B. Ginsburg, was one appointed by Clinton.
 

Weed420

New Member
I am all for voting and serving on a jury, but this case was lost in the US Supreme Court. It is a panel of justices selected by presidents. The 9 panel of judges are selections by Democrats and Republicans. The one justice that didn't go along with the other 8, Justice Ruth B. Ginsburg, was one appointed by Clinton.
Theres nothing we can do about scotus. They made a wrong decision as they have occasionally before. Scotus use to always stand in favor of personal rights in most all these cases but they seem to be sliding towards facism.
We so many cases of unconstitutional laws being passed by our senate and congress and once they get on the books they're almost impossible to repeal.
Its a good time to return to the 60's and start protesting in the streets again. We need to get record numbers of people into the streets this summer to make our protests heard. They will likely turn violent as provocateurs from law enforcement agencies infiltrate these groups and try to demonize them. But people need to stay strong.
 
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