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Supreme Court Won't Hear Drug Dogs Case.

Squawker

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When I read this, I thought of another case a few years back. I think it was about using heat sensor devises to detect the use of heat lamps to grow marijuana. Do you think this is too intrusive, or might lead to the dreaded “slippery slope”?
Apr 4, 10:30 AM (ET)
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court on Monday declined to consider whether police can have drug dogs sniff outside people's homes without any specific suspicion of illegal activity.
Justices let stand a lower court ruling that allowed the dog sniff, rejecting an appeal from a Houston man who said it was an improper police "search" that violated his Fourth Amendment right against arbitrary searches.
In so doing, the court declined to clarify the scope of police authority after it ruled 6-2 earlier this year that dog sniffs for drugs were OK outside a car if a motorist is lawfully stopped for a traffic violation. Justices David H. Souter and Ruth Bader Ginsburg dissented in that ruling, cautioning it could lead to much more intrusive searches.
David Gregory Smith challenged his Texas conviction for drug possession based on evidence obtained after a police dog sniffed outside his garage and alerted authorities to possible drugs inside. After the dog's alert, police obtained a search warrant and found methamphetamine in his bedroom, far from the garage.
"The use of a drug-sniffing dog at the entrance of a private home to detect the contents of the dwelling strips the citizenry of the most basic boundary of personal privacy by gathering invisible information coming from the interior of the home," the petition states.
A Texas state court ruled last year that the dog sniff outside his garage was not intrusive enough to invoke constitutional protection. It also said police did not unlawfully trespass because the garage was along a sidewalk that visitors must walk to reach the front door.
The case is Smith v. Texas, 04-874.
Source
 

ShamMol

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This in relation to the heat lamps is another proof in the declining civil liberties in this country. The fact that it is illegal for a dog to sniff inside the pockets or get too close does not mean anything. Just the fact that they can smell you and what is on you and then use it to arrest you is illegal...except the court doesn't see it that way. That is what we call an invasion of privacy!
 

Squawker

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If you are breaking a law, why should you have any civil liberties? How about bomb sniffing dogs or something that has to do with terrorism? If you are not doing anything wrong, why would it hurt you?
 

shuamort

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Squawker said:
If you are breaking a law, why should you have any civil liberties? How about bomb sniffing dogs or something that has to do with terrorism? If you are not doing anything wrong, why would it hurt you?
I agree that this thing should be allowed since the 4th Amendment protects citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures. Unreasonable being the key word and I don't think that a dog sniffing your car is unreasonable should the police officer have suspicions.

The problem I have with using drug sniffing dogs (beside my libertarian stances on drugs) is the fact that in some cases, drug sniffing dogs' odds can be worse than just flipping a coin. Justice Souter even said in his opinion that "Indeed, a study cited by Illinois in this case for the proposition that dog sniffs are “generally reliable” shows that dogs in artificial testing situations return false positives anywhere from 12.5 to 60% of the time, depending on the length of the search." Here's the full .pdf of the study that was cited.
 
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ShamMol

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shuamort said:
I agree that this thing should be allowed since the 4th Amendment protects citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures. Unreasonable being the key word and I don't think that a dog sniffing your car is unreasonable should the police officer have suspicions.

The problem I have with using drug sniffing dogs (beside my libertarian stances on drugs) is the fact that in some cases, drug sniffing dogs' odds can be worse than just flipping a coin. Justice Souter even said in his opinion that "Indeed, a study cited by Illinois in this case for the proposition that dog sniffs are “generally reliable” shows that dogs in artificial testing situations return false positives anywhere from 12.5 to 60% of the time, depending on the length of the search." Here's the full .pdf of the study that was cited.
Yeah, that was brougt up in the moot court i did with this topic. at schools, you know what is the official policy? They line you up and have dogswalk by you, sniffing your person. the problem with that is that the positive ids are sometimes so "false" that the person has nothing and are searched for no reason. Also, until it was outlawed, the dogs were allowed to put their noses all over and inside your pockets, orfices, anywehre. but that was deemed unreasonable.

my problem with the argument that if you are committing a crime and therefore have no civil liberties is that we have a presumption of innocence in this country. you can't just assume everyone is guilty and therefore its ok to use drug dogs to search everyone. that is the unreasonableness of the drug dog-it presumes guilt. But, it is also legal, so there is nothing i can do about it.
 

Lassez-Faire

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Squawker said:
If you are breaking a law, why should you have any civil liberties? How about bomb sniffing dogs or something that has to do with terrorism? If you are not doing anything wrong, why would it hurt you?
The law in this case is unjust. Marijuana is less harmful than alcohol or tobacco, so why not allow people to use it? Its extremley backward and repressive to deny people the right to use such a substance. As a conservative, you claim to hate the nanny state, but by banning substances for their own saftey is exactly what you claim to hate.
 

Squawker

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As a conservative, you claim to hate the nanny state, but by banning substances for their own saftey is exactly what you claim to hate.
Actually, I think pot should be legal, but that isn't the law at this time. I don't think we should unnecessarily tie the hands of police officers doing their job.
 
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