Friday, January 16, 2009

Who Needs the 4th Amendment Anyway?

Bad news:

The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that evidence obtained from an unlawful arrest based on careless record keeping by the police may be used against a criminal defendant.

The 5-to-4 decision revealed competing conceptions of the exclusionary rule, which requires the suppression of some evidence obtained through police misconduct, and suggested that the court's commitment to the rule was fragile.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., writing for the majority, said that the exclusion of evidence should be a last resort and that judges should use a sliding scale in deciding whether particular misconduct by the police warranted suppressing the evidence they had found.

This ruling pretty much removes all incentives for following proper law enforcement procedures. I guess it justs assumes that the police never act in bad faith, so they need no deterrent to keep them from violating civil liberties. The consequences of this aren't going to be pretty.

Bush may be leaving us, but his "legacy" (such as actively appointing judges like Roberts and Alito that will make the constitution obsolete) will haunt the country for years to come.

But hey, no problem. After all, if you aren't doing anything wrong, you have no reason to worry, right?

No comments: