While it would seem obvious to most lawyers that you shouldn't be able to search a person's vehicle incident to arrest using the officer's safety as an excuse when the guy is in handcuffs and already in the police car, and then based on the results of that search arrest the guy for something unrelated to why you pulled them over in the first place, it took the US Supreme Court to tell the various states that in the future they'd probably better make up better excuses to violate the 4th Amendment.
There have been several discussions around the blogs on what Gant means, but mostly from the defense side. Is there a difference between the two perspectives? Not really, but it's just interesting to see the same discussion from the prosecutor's side.
There's not a whole lot of gnashing of teeth, because as a few prosecutors point out they always have the inventory exception. So, never fear cops and prosecutors, you just have to wait until the "inventory search" (yet another exception that has helped swallow the rule, assuming you actually have any belief in the Constitution) before searching a vehicle for evidence and arresting the guy for something that had nothing to do with the broken tail light or unsafe lane change that you pulled him over for in the first place.
God forbid you do your work ahead of time and actually get a warrant for evidence of the crime that you're really searching for when you pulled the guy over in a pretextual stop in the first place. Restoring the 4th Amendment completely would just make your jobs too darn hard, I guess.
On a side note, there are plenty of other gems in prosecutors' comments on various topics. One poster claims to have challenged defense lawyers to post some of the most often witnessed ethical violations by defense lawyers, but nobody took him up on it. Imagine that, on a board more biased than FOX News people don't want to contribute grapeshot to the cannon that will only make them fodder. The same guy goes on to note that he's more than happy to present prosecutors' weaknesses, and includes Brady violations as the number one violation by prosecutors. I imagine Arthur Seaton will be crying himself to sleep based on that revelation. But the real catcher--the guy used Ted Stevens as his example! Sure, what was done to Stevens is worthy of investigation and if necessary prosecution. But that kind of thing happens on a daily basis across the country and Harris County is certainly no stranger to it, but there's no way a prosecutor is going to admit that evidence was withheld from the average black criminal defendant. I mean, Canadians are never wronged at trial, but Republican Senators? Man, those guys are persecuted every time.
There Goes a Man
1 year ago