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Posted: 4/25/2002 10:07:31 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/25/2002 10:13:48 AM EDT by The_Macallan]
[url=http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=3936063&BRD=982&PAG=461&dept_id=467992&rfi=6][b]Living in a Police State[/b][/url] "Two new laws, which took effect Monday as part of anti-terror efforts, also shield from public scrutiny the reasons for police searches. Defense lawyers and civil libertarians are outraged at the laws, which make search warrants and supporting documents such as affidavits non-public records. "If you think the police did secretive work before, just wait," defense attorney William Cataldo said. "It gives more power to the ignorant and more power to those who would take your rights." Defense lawyer Walter Piszczatowski said: "This is nuts, this is beyond nuts. "What happened to the Fourth Amendment? We're living in a police state." That means the public, the press, and in some cases even the person accused of the crime, can't know why the police entered a home without permission. Under previous laws, the records were public, unless a judge ordered them sealed for a specific reason. In federal courts, that remains the case. But now, search warrants in state courts are automatically closed to public view. . . Law enforcement supported the changes. Oakland County Prosecutor David Gorcyca said the laws protect victims, witnesses and confidential informants. Gorcyca said the procedure for obtaining a search warrant didn't change, nor did the rights of the defendant to challenge a bad warrant or the ill-gotten gains of an illegal search. " . . The new law also affects the rights of people who are searched. According to a analysis of the law done in the House of Representatives, the state Court of Appeals ruled that affidavits be given along with a warrant at the time of a search. The new law changes that. "An officer executing a search is not required to give a copy of the affidavit to the person or leave a copy at the place from which the property was taken," according to Ferry's memo. Prosecutors support it. ACLU lawyers hate it. What do you make of this?
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