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Junior Butt Warmer
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Malum Prohibitum said:
What does the opinion say? The link does not say, and I do not have time right now to read the opinion.
Summary version:
http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/utah-v-strieff/

Holding: When there was no flagrant police misconduct and a police officer discovered a valid, pre-existing, and untainted warrant for an individual’s arrest, evidence seized pursuant to that arrest is admissible even when the police officer’s stop of the individual was unconstitutional, because the discovery of the warrant attenuated the connection between the stop and the evidence.

Judgment: Reversed, 5-3, in an opinion by Justice Thomas on June 20, 2016. Justice Sotomayor filed a dissenting opinion, in which Justice Ginsburg joined as to Parts I, II, and III. Justice Kagan filed a dissenting opinion, in which Justice Ginsburg joined.
 

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Justice Sotomayor not only filed a dissenting opinion, she filed a flaming one. I agree with her that this opens up a complete end runaround for the 4th. From my reading, a a traffic stop was conducted for what was later deemed an invalid reason. After the stop, the officer noticed and seized evidence of a crime (drugs I think) and arrested the person based on that and an outstanding warrant. The suspect disputed the arrest and seizure as invalid, since there was no valid reason for the stop. SCOTUS agreed that the reason for the stop was invalid, but it didn't matter as there was an outstanding warrant that was discovered subsequent to the stop.

As Sotomayor pointed out, that seems to open the door to police stops for any made-up reason simply to see if there is a warrant or other reason for arrest.
 

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Member Georgia Carry
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If there is a roadblock and police are checking all vehicles, how do they handle bicyclists? Are they waved through or do they have to show ID as well?
 

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If there is a roadblock and police are checking all vehicles, how do they handle bicyclists? Are they waved through or do they have to show ID as well?
I have been caught up in a roadblock that stopped all motorcycles an waved all cars through... even some with noticable violations... expired tag, blown taillights...
 

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I have been caught up in a roadblock that stopped all motorcycles an waved all cars through... even some with noticable violations... expired tag, blown taillights...
That is common in the mountains. A very large percent of riders don't have a license.
 

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What does the opinion say? The link does not say, and I do not have time right now to read the opinion.
A cop was surveilling a drug house. He later contacted a person who came from the drug house. The wording used in the decision was "detained". To me, that means stopped via a show of authority and the person wasn't free to leave.

The officer then "requested" identification. To me, that means the officer asked. Upon a check of the ID, the officer discovered a existing warrant for which the officer had no prior knowledge.

During a search incident to arrest for the warrant, drugs/items were found on the suspect.

As the term "illegal" stop is being used, the court must have determined at some point along the way that the initial contact was unconstitutional. I have not read the entire decision closely enough to determine the basis for such reasoning. The evidence was allowed.
 

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Junior Butt Warmer
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(My two cents for where I'm at so far in the ruling)

Officer Fackrell observed Strieff exit the house and walk toward a nearby convenience store. In the store's parking lot, Officer Fackrell detained Strieff, identified himself, and asked Strieff what he was doing at the residence.

As part of the stop, Officer Fackrell requested Strieff's identification, and Strieff produced his Utah identification card.
:-k

I guess a question is whether it was a lawful detainment. What are Utah's "Papers Please?" statutes?

The pre-existing warrant changes things a lot. An unlawful detainment's contribution to the arrest lies in the obtaining of his identity, how compelled the obtaining was, and occurring under circumstances which focused him for a warrant check, (obtaining identity under color of law).

If the detainment had sufficient RAS authorizing it, then the "compelling" is a function of the jurisdiction's "Identify Yourself" statutes. The warrant stands on its own.

If the detainment did not have sufficient RAS, then the "compelled" aspect becomes hairier. Basically the unlawful detainment becomes a "shortcut" for determining identity along with a compelled "wait while we check on you". The warrant still stands on its own though, and it was under the authority of the warrant that the meth & kit were found.

:-k

Remember, the "make contact" is repeatedly referred to as a detainment. That doesn't sound like tier-I to me, (sounds like tier-II). Is walking out of a suspected drug dealer's house sufficient RAS to detain? Is there enough "circumstantial totality" to authorize the use of force (detainment)?

What if instead he drove away from the suspicious house? Okay to pull him over for no other reason than to find out who he is and if he has warrants?

:-k

I don't think it's so much a question of "sufficient attenuation". The warrant stands on its own.

I think it's a question of whether or not sufficiently attenuated "shortcut" methods are to be tolerated. What's the difference between this and setting up pedestrian "stop & identify" roadblocks on the sidewalk around the house once it was "determined to be suspicious"?

If applying the Exclusionary Rule is not appropriate because the warrant stands on it's own, then what is an appropriate remedy for abuse of "detainment powers"?

(Continuing to read)
 

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Junior Butt Warmer
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At the suppression hearing, the prosecutor conceded that Officer Fackrell lacked reasonable suspicion for the stop but argued that the evidence should not be suppressed because the existence of a valid arrest warrant attenuated the connection between the unlawful stop and the discovery of the contraband.
Sufficient attenuation isn't the issue. The warrant could have been discovered by checking random names in a phone book. The issue is whether unlawful use of force (RAS'less detainment) by police is okay.
 

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The 4th amendment has been dead a long time now, with the War on Terror and the War on Drugs. Its a shell of its former self.
 

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Junior Butt Warmer
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If applying the Exclusionary Rule is not appropriate because the warrant stands on it's own, then what is an appropriate remedy for abuse of "detainment powers"?
I'd think tossing the meth, kit and additional charges, and delivering him to traffic court under the warrant would be about right.

Many would say that's awfully mild for an unlawful use of police force.

:-k
 

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Junior Butt Warmer
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This part doesn't make a lot of sense to me...

The court found that the short time between the illegal stop and the search weighed in favor of suppressing the evidence, but that two countervailing considerations made it admissible.
They call it an illegal stop, (and as we all know, conducting illegal stops is not an official duty), and yet...
Second, the court stressed the absence of flagrant misconduct by Officer Fackrell, who was conducting a legitimate investigation of a suspected drug house.
...they characterize conducting the illegal stop as being part of a legitimate investigation.
 

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Junior Butt Warmer
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The third factor of the attenuation doctrine reflects that rationale by favoring exclusion only when the police misconduct is most in need of deterrence-that is, when it is purposeful or flagrant.
Illegal RAS'less detainments sounds pretty flagrant to me. Doing them in order to perform warrant checks sounds pretty purposeful.
 

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Junior Butt Warmer
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More nonsensical self-contradiction...

But these errors in judgment hardly rise to a purposeful or flagrant violation of Strieff 's Fourth Amendment rights.
Well, then that leaves incompetence under color of law. Dismissively saying "Officer Fackrell was at most negligent" sounds as though they're saying negligent incompetence under color of law is fine.

So he had a purpose...
Officer Fackrell's stated purpose was to "find out what was going on [in] the house."
And he acted with that purpose...
But these errors in judgment hardly rise to a purposeful or flagrant violation of Strieff 's Fourth Amendment rights.
But somehow it didn't rise to a purposeful act.

Ummm, what?
 

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Junior Butt Warmer
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The outstanding arrest warrant for Strieff 's arrest is a critical intervening circumstance that is wholly independent of the illegal stop.
It is not wholly independent of the illegal stop because the critical circumstance did not intervene without the illegal stop.

As has been repeatedly stated, the search was incident to the arrest and done primarily for officer safety. The warrant does not require it. The warrant is wholly fulfilled without the additional charges. It is the additional charges which are a result of the illegal stop, thereby tainting them.

:-k

I don't think anyone is saying the warrant cannot be served. It stands on its own however its applicability was discovered. The arrest warrant itself carries sufficient attenuation as far as custodial arrest goes.

I think the question is whether additional fruits are tainted when the applicability is discovered through unlawful means, (in this case, RAS'less detainment).
 

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Junior Butt Warmer
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But Officer Fackrell sought information from Strieff to find out what was happening inside a house whose occupants were legitimately suspected of dealing drugs.
Okay.

This was not a suspicionless fishing expedition "in the hope that something would turn up."
Isn't that what "seeking information" is?

Regardless, he unlawfully detained him to "seek information". As was conceded by the prosecution, there was not sufficient RAS to LAWFULLY detain him. There was only "mere suspicion" used as the basis to UNLAWFULLY detain him. It doesn't matter whether the PURPOSE of the UNLAWFUL DETAINMENT is called "seeking information" or "fishing expedition".

Apparently, unlawful detainment is merely "negligible negligence" and not an unlawful use of force.
 
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