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Other Discussion Boards => Philosophy, Religion & Society => Topic started by: Wakka Wakka on August 20, 2010, 10:38:46 PM

Title: Constitutional Question
Post by: Wakka Wakka on August 20, 2010, 10:38:46 PM
I am writing a paper on strict constitutionalism and I ran across an interesting situation.

Say, for example, Saddam Hussein bludgeoned Parsifal to death with a tire iron.  Then, Saddam Hussein hides the tire iron in his good friend's, Space Cowgirl, house, knowing that she wouldn't wake up from her acid induced coma for 36 hours.  (It can never be for certain if Space Cowgirl knew about the above information).  The police begin looking into the murder and illegally search Space Cowgirl's house and find the murder weapon.

Now, have Saddam Hussein's 4th Amendment Rights been violated and more importantly, can the recovery of the murder weapon be used in court?  I think, in the strictest sense, Saddam's right's were violated in no way but, obviously, Space Cowgirl's were.  However, the infringement on Space Cowgirl's civil rights should have no bearing on the case against Saddam.  Thoughts?
Title: Re: Constitutional Question
Post by: Ocius on August 21, 2010, 01:20:45 AM
The police begin looking into the murder and illegally search Space Cowgirl's house and find the murder weapon.

I think you just answered your own question.
Title: Re: Constitutional Question
Post by: Eddy Baby on August 21, 2010, 02:44:32 AM
I guess you can legally search someone's house if it is believed there is something important inside, regardless of whether the owner has committed a crime or not.
Title: Re: Constitutional Question
Post by: Ocius on August 21, 2010, 03:12:34 AM
I guess you can legally search someone's house if it is believed there is something important inside, regardless of whether the owner has committed a crime or not.

If the search is conducted illegally, any evidence they find is thrown out.
Title: Re: Constitutional Question
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on August 21, 2010, 08:11:37 AM
I guess you can legally search someone's house if it is believed there is something important inside, regardless of whether the owner has committed a crime or not.

If the search is conducted illegally, any evidence they find is thrown out.

If the only evidence connecting Saddam to the murder is the tyre iron then it's highly likely a sklilled lawyer could wriggle him out of it in any case.
Title: Re: Constitutional Question
Post by: Wakka Wakka on August 21, 2010, 10:33:49 AM
I guess you can legally search someone's house if it is believed there is something important inside, regardless of whether the owner has committed a crime or not.

If the search is conducted illegally, any evidence they find is thrown out.

If the only evidence connecting Saddam to the murder is the tyre iron then it's highly likely a sklilled lawyer could wriggle him out of it in any case.
But from a purely legal perspective, is it constitutional?
Title: Re: Constitutional Question
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on August 21, 2010, 10:56:25 AM
I guess you can legally search someone's house if it is believed there is something important inside, regardless of whether the owner has committed a crime or not.

If the search is conducted illegally, any evidence they find is thrown out.

If the only evidence connecting Saddam to the murder is the tyre iron then it's highly likely a sklilled lawyer could wriggle him out of it in any case.
But from a purely legal perspective, is it constitutional?

I don't know - I'm not a constitutional expert.
Title: Re: Constitutional Question
Post by: SpeakerOfTruth on August 21, 2010, 01:28:05 PM
If the search is conducted illegally, any evidence they find is thrown out.

Which is illogical.
Title: Re: Constitutional Question
Post by: Wakka Wakka on August 21, 2010, 02:12:54 PM
If the search is conducted illegally, any evidence they find is thrown out.

Which is illogical.
Wrong, it's the most logical prevention of a overly oppressive government.
Title: Re: Constitutional Question
Post by: Ocius on August 21, 2010, 02:20:31 PM
I guess you can legally search someone's house if it is believed there is something important inside, regardless of whether the owner has committed a crime or not.

If the search is conducted illegally, any evidence they find is thrown out.

If the only evidence connecting Saddam to the murder is the tyre iron then it's highly likely a sklilled lawyer could wriggle him out of it in any case.
But from a purely legal perspective, is it constitutional?

They would need a reason to get a search warrant.
Title: Re: Constitutional Question
Post by: Trekky0623 on August 21, 2010, 02:21:37 PM
It's not illogical. It keeps police from doing random searches for no reason.
Title: Re: Constitutional Question
Post by: Wakka Wakka on August 21, 2010, 02:25:41 PM
I guess you can legally search someone's house if it is believed there is something important inside, regardless of whether the owner has committed a crime or not.

If the search is conducted illegally, any evidence they find is thrown out.

If the only evidence connecting Saddam to the murder is the tyre iron then it's highly likely a sklilled lawyer could wriggle him out of it in any case.
But from a purely legal perspective, is it constitutional?

They would need a reason to get a search warrant.
Right, that's the point.  The police violated Cowgirl's civil rights but not Saddam's and the case is solely about Saddam.
Title: Re: Constitutional Question
Post by: Ocius on August 21, 2010, 02:33:50 PM
I guess you can legally search someone's house if it is believed there is something important inside, regardless of whether the owner has committed a crime or not.

If the search is conducted illegally, any evidence they find is thrown out.

If the only evidence connecting Saddam to the murder is the tyre iron then it's highly likely a sklilled lawyer could wriggle him out of it in any case.
But from a purely legal perspective, is it constitutional?

They would need a reason to get a search warrant.
Right, that's the point.  The police violated Cowgirl's civil rights but not Saddam's and the case is solely about Saddam.

I'm not really sure what you're talking about here. They're searching her house for something else and find the murder weapon? There are ways that police can "accidentally" find evidence and can use it legally such as hot pursuit and plain view.
Title: Re: Constitutional Question
Post by: Wakka Wakka on August 21, 2010, 02:38:36 PM
I guess you can legally search someone's house if it is believed there is something important inside, regardless of whether the owner has committed a crime or not.

If the search is conducted illegally, any evidence they find is thrown out.

If the only evidence connecting Saddam to the murder is the tyre iron then it's highly likely a sklilled lawyer could wriggle him out of it in any case.
But from a purely legal perspective, is it constitutional?

They would need a reason to get a search warrant.
Right, that's the point.  The police violated Cowgirl's civil rights but not Saddam's and the case is solely about Saddam.

I'm not really sure what you're talking about here. They're searching her house for something else and find the murder weapon? There are ways that police can "accidentally" find evidence and can use it legally such as hot pursuit and plain view.
In the original scenario given, the murderer hid evidence in a third party's house.  Then, the police illegally search the house, violating the owners 4th Amendment rights.  If the owner of the house was on trial, the evidence would be excluded because the way in which it was collected violated the defendants civil rights.  However, it the owner of the house isn't not on trial, the murderer is and even though the evidence was acquired in an illegal fashion, that rights of the murderer were not violated.

This is a largely improbable scenario but scenarios like this are the focus of my paper.
Title: Re: Constitutional Question
Post by: Ocius on August 21, 2010, 02:47:43 PM
No, police can't barge into your house whenever they want, whether you're a suspected criminal or not. I think in this case the evidence would be thrown out because they were there "illegally" as you said.
Title: Re: Constitutional Question
Post by: SpeakerOfTruth on August 21, 2010, 05:18:38 PM
It's not illogical. It keeps police from doing random searches for no reason.

Evidence is evidence, regardless of how it's obtained. To dismiss evidence is illogical.

Sure, punish someone for breaking the rules, but don't let a criminal walk free because you don't want to be seen 'encouraging bad behaviour'. That's just stupid. If illegally obtained evidence proves that someone is guilty, then they are guilty.

Simple.
Title: Re: Constitutional Question
Post by: Trekky0623 on August 21, 2010, 05:22:33 PM
Right, but if that were not in place, police could barge into a random person's house and search until they found something that incriminates them. If the person is not a suspect, they should have the right to restrict entry into their house. If a person is a suspect, just go get a warrant.
Title: Re: Constitutional Question
Post by: SpeakerOfTruth on August 21, 2010, 05:33:45 PM
Right, but if that were not in place, police could barge into a random person's house and search until they found something that incriminates them. If the person is not a suspect, they should have the right to restrict entry into their house. If a person is a suspect, just go get a warrant.

I'm not disputing that rules should be in place. I'm saying that it's stupid and irresponsible to ignore evidence, just because rules have been broken.
Title: Re: Constitutional Question
Post by: Space Cowgirl on August 21, 2010, 05:36:16 PM
Did the cops in your scenario search my house because they suspected Saddam hid the weapon there? Or were they illegally searching my house for something else?

If they searched my house specifically for Saddam's weapon, then I'd say they did infringe on Saddam's rights.  If they were looking for something else, then I"m really not sure.
Title: Re: Constitutional Question
Post by: Benjamin Franklin on August 21, 2010, 05:44:31 PM
Since the search was illegal, it can not be used in court, unless SCG were to sign a retroactive agreement allowing it to be.

Also, since Saddam put the murder weapon in SCG's house without her written consent, it is no longer his. Possession is 9/10ths and all that jazz. Since Saddam does not own it, and it is not on his property, and his rights were not infringed upon.
Title: Re: Constitutional Question
Post by: Wakka Wakka on August 21, 2010, 06:33:42 PM
Did the cops in your scenario search my house because they suspected Saddam hid the weapon there? Or were they illegally searching my house for something else?

If they searched my house specifically for Saddam's weapon, then I'd say they did infringe on Saddam's rights.  If they were looking for something else, then I"m really not sure.
They searched you because of your relationship with a suspected murderer.

After re-reading the actual amendment, "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated,..." it says nothing about the location of said effects so this amendment covers all possessions regardless of location.
Title: Re: Constitutional Question
Post by: Ocius on August 21, 2010, 06:48:12 PM
Right, but if that were not in place, police could barge into a random person's house and search until they found something that incriminates them. If the person is not a suspect, they should have the right to restrict entry into their house. If a person is a suspect, just go get a warrant.

I'm not disputing that rules should be in place. I'm saying that it's stupid and irresponsible to ignore evidence, just because rules have been broken.

So you're saying we should make rules just for the hell of it and break them whenever we want? These "rules" as you call them are actually checks and balances used so that police can't go around strong-arming people for evidence. This is all in the interest of preventing the government from becoming too invasive and powerful.  
Title: Re: Constitutional Question
Post by: SpeakerOfTruth on August 22, 2010, 04:25:59 AM
Right, but if that were not in place, police could barge into a random person's house and search until they found something that incriminates them. If the person is not a suspect, they should have the right to restrict entry into their house. If a person is a suspect, just go get a warrant.

I'm not disputing that rules should be in place. I'm saying that it's stupid and irresponsible to ignore evidence, just because rules have been broken.

So you're saying we should make rules just for the hell of it and break them whenever we want? These "rules" as you call them are actually checks and balances used so that police can't go around strong-arming people for evidence. This is all in the interest of preventing the government from becoming too invasive and powerful.  

No, I'm not advocating breaking rules. And I believe that police shouldn't be able to just go around breaking down doors wherever they want.

However, letting a guilty person go free, simply because the evidence was obtained in a naughty way... that's not sensible. The person is guilty and there IS evidence to prove it.
Title: Re: Constitutional Question
Post by: Eddy Baby on August 22, 2010, 05:44:48 AM
There was a British case where a man raped an old woman, and due to DNA samples that the Police already had, they could say with 99.999992% certainty that he was the perpetrator. However, the samples should have been destroyed after a year, and so he was released, even though the evidence was obtained legally.
Title: Re: Constitutional Question
Post by: Ocius on August 22, 2010, 05:52:18 PM
No, I'm not advocating breaking rules.

Yes you are. Using evidence which was obtained illegally is breaking the rules.
Title: Re: Constitutional Question
Post by: SpeakerOfTruth on August 23, 2010, 03:22:01 AM
No, I'm not advocating breaking rules.

Yes you are. Using evidence which was obtained illegally is breaking the rules.

No, you're misunderstanding my position.

I believe that:
(a) There should be rules in place to prevent police just being able to harrass anyone they choose at any slightest possible whim.
(b) People shouldn't ignore conclusive evidence once they have seen it.

Of course, using illegally obtained evidence under current law would be breaking 'the rules', but obviously my position on that is that the rules should be changed. They should be changed so that punishments for breaking rules regarding people's privacy and freedoms are still in place, but at the same time, when evidence has come to light, it is never ignored.

Don't get me wrong, I understand the logistics of fitting these two ideas together is difficult. And is why currently we have one (freedoms) taking presedence over the other (evidence). But there is another way. You just punish people for violating freedoms separately and let any evidence stand. Just is done where the evidence is used, and then its up to the law to once again see that justice is done when someone is being punished for obtaining the evidence illegally.
Title: Re: Constitutional Question
Post by: Space Cowgirl on August 23, 2010, 08:18:01 AM
I'd only be ok with your idea if the police who break the rules for search and seizure are prosecuted for armed breaking and entering. 
Title: Re: Constitutional Question
Post by: theonlydann on August 23, 2010, 08:47:29 AM
There was a British case where a man raped an old woman, and due to DNA samples that the Police already had, they could say with 99.999992% certainty that he was the perpetrator. However, the samples should have been destroyed after a year, and so he was released, even though the evidence was obtained legally.
That is retarded.

No, I'm not advocating breaking rules.

Yes you are. Using evidence which was obtained illegally is breaking the rules.

No, you're misunderstanding my position.

I believe that:
(a) There should be rules in place to prevent police just being able to harrass anyone they choose at any slightest possible whim.
(b) People shouldn't ignore conclusive evidence once they have seen it.

Of course, using illegally obtained evidence under current law would be breaking 'the rules', but obviously my position on that is that the rules should be changed. They should be changed so that punishments for breaking rules regarding people's privacy and freedoms are still in place, but at the same time, when evidence has come to light, it is never ignored.

Don't get me wrong, I understand the logistics of fitting these two ideas together is difficult. And is why currently we have one (freedoms) taking presedence over the other (evidence). But there is another way. You just punish people for violating freedoms separately and let any evidence stand. Just is done where the evidence is used, and then its up to the law to once again see that justice is done when someone is being punished for obtaining the evidence illegally.
So now what? Do we temporary hire people to break laws to gather evidence on suspected criminals, and then punish them less severely because of their crime?  Your idea is not good. you don't give people incentive to break laws. Its just silly.
I'd only be ok with your idea if the police who break the rules for search and seizure are prosecuted for armed breaking and entering. 
But then who do you really prosecute? the police, or the people who ok the decision, or everyone involved? Ick. His idea is Terrible. just terrible.
Title: Re: Constitutional Question
Post by: Eddy Baby on August 23, 2010, 04:13:18 PM
There was a British case where a man raped an old woman, and due to DNA samples that the Police already had, they could say with 99.999992% certainty that he was the perpetrator. However, the samples should have been destroyed after a year, and so he was released, even though the evidence was obtained legally.
That is retarded.


Although, if it's ok to break the rules, as would be shown if this man was prosecuted, wouldn't it mean the police would start keeping all data, even when it's illegal to do so?
Title: Re: Constitutional Question
Post by: Space Cowgirl on August 23, 2010, 04:44:02 PM
Why didn't they just get new data?
Title: Re: Constitutional Question
Post by: Eddy Baby on August 23, 2010, 04:46:24 PM
I dunno; I can't remember.
Title: Re: Constitutional Question
Post by: SpeakerOfTruth on August 24, 2010, 05:39:44 AM
So now what? Do we temporary hire people to break laws to gather evidence on suspected criminals, and then punish them less severely because of their crime?  Your idea is not good. you don't give people incentive to break laws. Its just silly.

You're getting yourself confused. I'm not suggesting any of what you just said. I'm simply saying that breaking of rules should be delt with as deemed appropriate when it happens. And this shouldn't impact evidence, because it makes no sense to disregard something when it's become common fact by being exposed.

Title: Re: Constitutional Question
Post by: theonlydann on August 24, 2010, 06:31:15 AM
There was a British case where a man raped an old woman, and due to DNA samples that the Police already had, they could say with 99.999992% certainty that he was the perpetrator. However, the samples should have been destroyed after a year, and so he was released, even though the evidence was obtained legally.
That is retarded.


Although, if it's ok to break the rules, as would be shown if this man was prosecuted, wouldn't it mean the police would start keeping all data, even when it's illegal to do so?
Why is it illegal to keep the data?
So now what? Do we temporary hire people to break laws to gather evidence on suspected criminals, and then punish them less severely because of their crime?  Your idea is not good. you don't give people incentive to break laws. Its just silly.

You're getting yourself confused. I'm not suggesting any of what you just said. I'm simply saying that breaking of rules should be delt with as deemed appropriate when it happens. And this shouldn't impact evidence, because it makes no sense to disregard something when it's become common fact by being exposed.


You ARE suggesting what i said by encouraging the law breaking. You shouldnt get rewarded for breaking the law. It will lead to horrid abuse.
Title: Re: Constitutional Question
Post by: Eddy Baby on August 24, 2010, 06:32:31 AM
There was a British case where a man raped an old woman, and due to DNA samples that the Police already had, they could say with 99.999992% certainty that he was the perpetrator. However, the samples should have been destroyed after a year, and so he was released, even though the evidence was obtained legally.
That is retarded.


Although, if it's ok to break the rules, as would be shown if this man was prosecuted, wouldn't it mean the police would start keeping all data, even when it's illegal to do so?
Why is it illegal to keep the data?

No idea.
Title: Re: Constitutional Question
Post by: Chris Spaghetti on August 24, 2010, 09:29:27 AM
There was a British case where a man raped an old woman, and due to DNA samples that the Police already had, they could say with 99.999992% certainty that he was the perpetrator. However, the samples should have been destroyed after a year, and so he was released, even though the evidence was obtained legally.
That is retarded.


Although, if it's ok to break the rules, as would be shown if this man was prosecuted, wouldn't it mean the police would start keeping all data, even when it's illegal to do so?

Exactly, there is no excuse for police keeping a permanant record of innocent (in the eyes of the law the man was until proven guilty) people's DNA information, in Britain we need every help against state encroachment as we can get.

I don't understand why they couldn't just get him to take another test, though...
Title: Re: Constitutional Question
Post by: theonlydann on August 24, 2010, 11:02:41 AM
There was a British case where a man raped an old woman, and due to DNA samples that the Police already had, they could say with 99.999992% certainty that he was the perpetrator. However, the samples should have been destroyed after a year, and so he was released, even though the evidence was obtained legally.
That is retarded.


Although, if it's ok to break the rules, as would be shown if this man was prosecuted, wouldn't it mean the police would start keeping all data, even when it's illegal to do so?

Exactly, there is no excuse for police keeping a permanant record of innocent (in the eyes of the law the man was until proven guilty) people's DNA information, in Britain we need every help against state encroachment as we can get.

I don't understand why they couldn't just get him to take another test, though...
Well... i understand if the statute of limitations on prosecuting the case had expired, but for an ongoing investigation where he was a suspect? I have to keep law enforcement some kind of leeway on that.
Title: Re: Constitutional Question
Post by: Marcus Aurelius on August 24, 2010, 11:14:45 AM
If there is other evidence against that man, such as the woman pointing him out in a lineup, there should be no problem obtaining a warrant for taking DNA from the man.

Circumstantial evidence or eyewitness evidence in my opinion is not strong enough to convict, it has been shown to be down right wrong too many times.  However I am perfectly fine with using such evidence to obtain a warrant to search for physical evidence.
Title: Re: Constitutional Question
Post by: Eddy Baby on August 24, 2010, 11:37:49 AM
'A few months later, he was acquitted of this burglary and as the law then stated that the Forensic Science Service could retain only the DNA of people convicted of a recordable offence, it should have been destroyed.'

 http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1202656/This-sociopath-cleared-rape--Now-years-later-legal-breakthrough-dock--Theres-just-scarely-believable-problem-.html#ixzz0xYA1pLuw
Title: Re: Constitutional Question
Post by: Saddam Hussein on August 24, 2010, 11:52:08 AM
SpeakerOfTruth, the problem I have with your position is that the only way to properly deter the gathering of illegal evidence is to not allow it at trial.  There will be some cops who would be willing to face the consequences to themselves if they could deliver evidence on some people.  By permitting illegal evidence to be used, the deterrent effect of the exclusionary rule is severely compromised.
Title: Re: Constitutional Question
Post by: theonlydann on August 24, 2010, 12:07:01 PM
'A few months later, he was acquitted of this burglary and as the law then stated that the Forensic Science Service could retain only the DNA of people convicted of a recordable offence, it should have been destroyed.'

 http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1202656/This-sociopath-cleared-rape--Now-years-later-legal-breakthrough-dock--Theres-just-scarely-believable-problem-.html#ixzz0xYA1pLuw
Ok. I don't disagree with that at all. It sucks he was cleared, but the evidence was illegally obtained.
Title: Re: Constitutional Question
Post by: Eddy Baby on August 25, 2010, 11:01:12 AM
No it wasn't. It was illegally retained.
Title: Re: Constitutional Question
Post by: theonlydann on August 25, 2010, 11:45:44 AM
Shut up Nazi youth. It was illegally obtained because it was illegally retained.
Title: Re: Constitutional Question
Post by: Eddy Baby on August 25, 2010, 11:45:59 AM
Wat
Title: Re: Constitutional Question
Post by: theonlydann on August 25, 2010, 11:52:07 AM
I am going to punch you in the face until i illegally retain your teeth in my fist.
Title: Re: Constitutional Question
Post by: Eddy Baby on August 25, 2010, 11:53:29 AM
You're going to illegally obtain downtown.
Title: Re: Constitutional Question
Post by: theonlydann on August 25, 2010, 11:55:35 AM
I love you. Lets never fight again. Obtain, retain, no pain no gain.
Title: Re: Constitutional Question
Post by: Eddy Baby on August 25, 2010, 11:58:31 AM
Let us refrain.
Title: Re: Constitutional Question
Post by: Saddam Hussein on August 26, 2010, 06:37:56 PM
And this thread disintegrates into nonsense.
Title: Re: Constitutional Question
Post by: Saddam Hussein on November 24, 2010, 03:43:09 PM
I know that this is an old thread, but recently in one of my classes, the professor (of law, obviously) explained the law regarding a situation like this one.  As it turns out, Wakka Wakka was right.  Because it was Space Cowgirl's rights being violated, not mine, I do not have the legal standing to challenge this search.  Now, if it were Space Cowgirl on trial for something, for example, if she deliberately hid the murder weapon for me, then the evidence would be suppressed.
Title: Re: Constitutional Question
Post by: ﮎingulaЯiτy on November 25, 2010, 08:50:26 PM
Couldn't be bothered to read the thread, but the police can get a warrant to search any house for a case. It's irrelevant who it belongs to if it's pertinent to a case.

I should add that warrants are considered constitutional.
Title: Re: Constitutional Question
Post by: Saddam Hussein on November 25, 2010, 11:24:04 PM
Couldn't be bothered to read the thread, but the police can get a warrant to search any house for a case. It's irrelevant who it belongs to if it's pertinent to a case.

I should add that warrants are considered constitutional.

I don't think anyone's disputing that.  This thread is about whether or not illegally-gathered evidence can be used against someone else.
Title: Re: Constitutional Question
Post by: Space Cowgirl on November 26, 2010, 06:38:00 AM
Yeah, it doesn't seem like you could be bothered to even read the first post.
Title: Re: Constitutional Question
Post by: Saddam Hussein on November 26, 2010, 08:37:58 AM
Yeah, it doesn't seem like you could be bothered to even read the first post.

As rude as it sounds, this is true.

Anyway, we're missing the point here.  It turns out that you were all wrong.  Franklin, Fortuna, Trekky, and Space Cowgirl, were all wrong, wrong, wrong.  How does this make you feel, FES?
Title: Re: Constitutional Question
Post by: Space Cowgirl on November 26, 2010, 11:13:05 AM
It makes me feel like stabbing an evil dictator. 
Title: Re: Constitutional Question
Post by: ﮎingulaЯiτy on November 26, 2010, 11:25:38 AM
I read most of the first page, but it seems I misunderstood the intent of the question, which led me to think that the attention to the illegality of trespassing was a tangent line of thought.

I don't think anyone's disputing that.  This thread is about whether or not illegally-gathered evidence can be used against someone else.

If this is the question, it already inherently answered. Maybe that's why I discounted it, while crediting the second post.
However, I think the more debatable question seems to be, "should it be legal?".

To the point:
If we say illegal searches should be legalized, we grant police officers the right to trespass, the opportunity to plant evidence, and ultimately the ability to incriminate/suppress any citizens they chose. Police should not have the ability to exercise uncontrolled powers over average citizens. I'm with Trekky, the current system of evidence is a controlled process that protect its citizens from an oppressive government. If illegal searches let the bad guys get away, don't do them illegally.
Title: Re: Constitutional Question
Post by: Saddam Hussein on November 26, 2010, 03:07:58 PM
I read most of the first page, but it seems I misunderstood the intent of the question, which led me to think that the attention to the illegality of trespassing was a tangent line of thought.

I don't think anyone's disputing that.  This thread is about whether or not illegally-gathered evidence can be used against someone else.

If this is the question, it already inherently answered. Maybe that's why I discounted it, while crediting the second post.
However, I think the more debatable question seems to be, "should it be legal?".

To the point:
If we say illegal searches should be legalized, we grant police officers the right to trespass, the opportunity to plant evidence, and ultimately the ability to incriminate/suppress any citizens they chose. Police should not have the ability to exercise uncontrolled powers over average citizens. I'm with Trekky, the current system of evidence is a controlled process that protect its citizens from an oppressive government. If illegal searches let the bad guys get away, don't do them illegally.

Well, no one's disputing that, either.  After all, the right to be protected from unreasonable searches and seizures is outlined pretty clearly in the Fourth Amendment.  This discussion is about the exclusionary rule, which is not actually mentioned in the Constitution.  It is simply a rule that courts have made to respond to violations of the Fourth Amendment.

Also, that question is not actually inherently answered.  That's exactly why I bumped this thread: To point out that virtually everyone who replied here, saying that the evidence would be suppressed, is dead wrong.  The evidence would be allowed in court if it was being used against me, because my rights were not violated with the illegal search.  Contrary to popular opinion, the exclusionary rule is not there to punish cops who break the rules.  If it was, then a more appropriate punishment would be to prosecute them for trespass or burglary (as SCG suggested earlier) rather than simply letting the criminal go, wouldn't it?  The point of the exclusionary rule is to protect the people's rights.  My rights would not be protected by suppressing the illegal evidence.
Title: Re: Constitutional Question
Post by: ﮎingulaЯiτy on November 26, 2010, 03:54:08 PM
Well, no one's disputing that, either.  After all, the right to be protected from unreasonable searches and seizures is outlined pretty clearly in the Fourth Amendment.  This discussion is about the exclusionary rule, which is not actually mentioned in the Constitution.
Then why would the OP question its constitutionality?
Title: Re: Constitutional Question
Post by: Space Cowgirl on November 26, 2010, 04:17:37 PM
The OP didn't question the constitutionality of unreasonable searches and seizures. Read the post again.  The question was whether the courts could use the evidence found in my house (it was an illegal search) against Saddam. 

Title: Re: Constitutional Question
Post by: Mrs. Peach on November 26, 2010, 04:34:22 PM
Blah...blah...fruit of poisoned tree...blah...blah.

Wong Sun v. United States
Title: Re: Constitutional Question
Post by: Space Cowgirl on November 26, 2010, 04:40:41 PM
Mrs Peach just proved Saddam's professor wrong! How does that make you feel, Saddam?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fruit_of_the_poisonous_tree
Title: Re: Constitutional Question
Post by: Marcus Aurelius on November 26, 2010, 05:16:02 PM
Well, I don't think we are talking about evidence that was obtained using illegally obtained evidence.  FOTPT was recently invoked to suppress evidence (a key witness) in the terror trial that just took place in new york.  The witness was only learned about when they tortured his name out of the defendant.  Because torture is illegal, the prosecution was not allowed to call on the witness in court, and rightfully so.

In the OP's example we are talking about the "exclusionary rule".  Which does hold the exception that it cannot be invoked unless the person arguing for the evidence to be suppressed was the person who's rights are violated.  In this example I think Saddam's professor is correct, only SC's rights were violated, not Saddam's, so he would not be able to suppress the evidence.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exclusionary_rule#Limitations_of_the_rule
Title: Re: Constitutional Question
Post by: Space Cowgirl on November 26, 2010, 05:19:34 PM
So there would be nothing to keep the police from illegally searching someone's home as long as the evidence wasn't used against the person whose home they ransacked?
Title: Re: Constitutional Question
Post by: Marcus Aurelius on November 26, 2010, 05:28:17 PM
I'd have to do some research, but I'm pretty sure the police department themselves might be liable civilly.  You, as the homeowner could try to seek legal action against the department, however in Saddam's case, he's fucked.

Title: Re: Constitutional Question
Post by: Space Cowgirl on November 26, 2010, 05:30:21 PM
Poor Saddam. 

It doesn't seem right that they don't have a check against that type of illegal search.
Title: Re: Constitutional Question
Post by: Marcus Aurelius on November 26, 2010, 05:40:21 PM
Well, if he did kill someone, then not poor saddam.  However if you think about this, it makes sense.  If Saddam is the defendant, then he should not be able to argue the exclusionary rule for evidence against his crime because somebody else had their rights violated to obtain the evidence, that just doesn't make sense.  His rights were not violated, therefore he has no argument.

In addition, if you noticed the other exceptions to the rule, if a private citizen found the evidence, it could also be included, since the fourth amendment only applies to government officials.

I wonder if the police have paid security companies in the past to hack into or steal evidence from others.  We should be vigilant about such things, since that would be a legitimate loophole to the bill of rights, and the government is using private security companies, and even phone companies to spy on us more and more.  But that is another subject.
Title: Re: Constitutional Question
Post by: Saddam Hussein on November 26, 2010, 08:09:26 PM
Well, if he did kill someone, then not poor saddam.  However if you think about this, it makes sense.  If Saddam is the defendant, then he should not be able to argue the exclusionary rule for evidence against his crime because somebody else had their rights violated to obtain the evidence, that just doesn't make sense.  His rights were not violated, therefore he has no argument.

Exactly.  Legal standing.  It's the same reason why I, as a private citizen, cannot press charges or file a lawsuit against someone who commits a crime against someone else.  It has nothing to do with me.  I'm not the victim.  The fact that Space Cowgirl's victimization eventually incriminates me is not relevant to my rights.

Quote
I wonder if the police have paid security companies in the past to hack into or steal evidence from others.  We should be vigilant about such things, since that would be a legitimate loophole to the bill of rights, and the government is using private security companies, and even phone companies to spy on us more and more.  But that is another subject.

I'm not sure, but I think there was a court case about that recently.  The court ruled that if a law enforcement agency asks an individual or organization to perform a role of policing for them, such as conducting searches or seizures, they are acting in the stead of an officer and are bound by the same legal restrictions.  One thing to watch for would be the reaction of the police towards their contractor once the evidence is produced.  Do they get arrested and charged with burglary or theft, like a normal person would?  If not, then the police have obviously granted them the powers of police, and with them, come the limitations of that power.  Basically, you can't have legal power without legal restrictions.