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Posted: 12/15/2003 2:48:18 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/15/2003 2:50:12 PM EDT by NYPatriot]
Sadly, I am begining to believe that my sig line is the answer to that question.

www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/news/archive/2003/12/15/national1153EST0574.DTL


WASHINGTON (AP) --

The Supreme Court issued a traffic warning Monday: Beware of whom you ride with. If drugs are found in a vehicle, all occupants can be arrested, the justices said in a unanimous decision.

It was a victory for Maryland and 20 other states that argued police frequently find drugs in traffic stops but no one in the vehicle claims them. The court gave officers the go-ahead to arrest everyone.

In a small space like a car, an officer could reasonably infer "a common enterprise" among a driver and passengers, the justices ruled.

The case stemmed from an incident in 1999, when police in the Baltimore suburbs pulled over a speeding car. A search revealed a roll of cash in the glove compartment and cocaine in an armrest in the back seat.

The driver and the two passengers denied having anything to do with the contraband, so all three men were arrested.

Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, writing for the court, said police had probable cause to suspect that the drugs belonged to any of the three, or all of them.

Lisa Kemler, a criminal defense attorney from Alexandria, Va., said the court seems to be saying: "know who your company is."

"How many times have you gotten a ride with a friend? Are you going to peer around in their glove compartment?" asked Kemler, who fears the ruling will lead to a police dragnet. "You could find probable cause to arrest everybody."

Michael Rushford, president of the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, a pro-law enforcement group, said police can't be expected to sort out ownership of drugs or guns in the middle of a traffic stop.

"You certainly wouldn't let three people with Uzis in their car leave because no one would admit the uzis were theirs," he said.

Maryland's highest court had thrown out the conviction of a passenger in the car, Joseph Jermaine Pringle, on grounds that his arrest violated the Constitution's Fourth Amendment ban on unreasonable searches or seizures. The Supreme Court reversed that decision.

"Pringle's attempt to characterize this case as a guilt-by-associaton case is unavailing," Rehnquist wrote in the brief decision.

Pringle told police later that the drugs were his and that he had planned to swap them for sex or money at a party. His 10-year prison sentence will be reinstated.

The American Civil Liberties Union and National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers filed a brief supporting Pringle. Their lawyer said the ruling will sweep innocent passengers into criminal cases.

"There's nothing in this opinion to prevent a police officer from arresting a graduate student who is offered a ride home late at night from a party that she has attended with some fellow students," said Tracey Maclin, a Boston University law professor.

The court's rationale could be used in other police search cases, involving homes, Maclin said.

The ruling dealt with the discovery of drugs and cash, but it could apply to other contraband as well.

Supporting Maryland in the case were the Bush administration, along with Alabama, Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Puerto Rico.

The case is Maryland v. Pringle, 02-809.




Link Posted: 12/15/2003 2:51:44 PM EDT
Speak for yourself on this one. I would suggest upgrading what you call your "friends" than worrying about somone dropping shit in your car supposedly without your knowledge.
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 2:54:15 PM EDT
Originally Posted By ArmdLbrl: Speak for yourself on this one. I would suggest upgrading what you call your "friends" than worrying about somone dropping shit in your car supposedly without your knowledge.
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Amen. I'm sorry, but unless someone can give me a very good reason to change my mind, I don't find this decision to be a problem.
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 3:00:03 PM EDT
Change “drugs” to “guns” or “ammunition” and see how you think about it then. Precedent has been set. It WILL be expanded into anything else the State so chooses to criminalize.
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 3:03:05 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 3:07:21 PM EDT
Bad decision for a couple of reasons. You are on a dark lonely highway, your car breaks down, and you are walking the 22 miles to the nearest town. A passerby, offers you a ride. You accept, and on the way into town, passerby is stopped for broken tail light/expired tags/whatever. Cop does search of car and finds a joint. You are now arrested for a drug charge....... next- You are passerby, 30 miles from the nearest town, you see a car broke down on the side of the road. A man, his wife and kid. It is -10 and dropping fast. You offer the family a cramped ride to town in your std cab pu. A cop pulls you over for no seatbelt for the 4th passenger. Due to recent other scotus ruling, he searches the passengers and yourself. He finds a baggie in the other guys jacket pocket. Guy says you picked him up and offered him your spare coat to wear. You are arrested along with the other dude and his wife. So much for presumption of innocence.......
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 3:08:18 PM EDT
Guys... look past the "drug" aspect of this decision and see it for what it is... the state's official approval of "guilt by association"! You can now be arrested & prosecuted for a crime that you had absolutely no part in or knowledge of!!! This doesn't bother you in the least???
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 3:11:07 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Airwolf: Change “drugs” to “guns” or “ammunition” and see how you think about it then. Precedent has been set. It WILL be expanded into anything else the State so chooses to criminalize.
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Yup!!! Of course, there's no problem as long as the [s]tweedel[/s] Republicans are in office. It's those nasty old [s]twee[/s] Democrats, we hafta worry about. After all, the repubs are the champions of our Constitution!!! [ROFL] So vote for [s]Twee[/s] (You know who!!! [snoopy]!!!)
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 3:11:50 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Airwolf: Change “drugs” to “guns” or “ammunition” and see how you think about it then. Precedent has been set. It WILL be expanded into anything else the State so chooses to criminalize.
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If "guns" and "ammo" were as illegal as "drugs" in the particular area, I STILL wouldn't have a problem with it. What would you do? Let them ALL go?
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 3:14:53 PM EDT
Originally Posted By thedave1164: Bad decision for a couple of reasons. You are on a dark lonely highway, your car breaks down, and you are walking the 22 miles to the nearest town. A passerby, offers you a ride. You accept, and on the way into town, passerby is stopped for broken tail light/expired tags/whatever. Cop does search of car and finds a joint. You are now arrested for a drug charge....... next- You are passerby, 30 miles from the nearest town, you see a car broke down on the side of the road. A man, his wife and kid. It is -10 and dropping fast. You offer the family a cramped ride to town in your std cab pu. A cop pulls you over for no seatbelt for the 4th passenger. Due to recent other scotus ruling, he searches the passengers and yourself. He finds a baggie in the other guys jacket pocket. Guy says you picked him up and offered him your spare coat to wear. You are arrested along with the other dude and his wife. So much for presumption of innocence.......
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Excuse me, but your presumption of innocence is in the COURTROOM, not on the STREET. We stop a vanload of Arab-looking men. In the back is a nuclear weapon. The driver says that he was forced to drive. The other passengers all give the "I was hitchhiking" line. By your logic, they all get let go. Does THAT make sense? BTW, goes for a crate of AK's rather than a nuke.
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 3:17:40 PM EDT
Originally Posted By NYPatriot: Guys... look past the "drug" aspect of this decision and see it for what it is... the state's official approval of "guilt by association"! You can now be arrested & prosecuted for a crime that you had absolutely no part in or knowledge of!!! This doesn't bother you in the least???
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Just make sure when you are out cruising with your crackdealin brohams that they will be man enough to admit the shit be theirs and you will be cool...!
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 3:27:19 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/15/2003 3:29:45 PM EDT by FLAL1A]
Thank God that in this part of the country the police have common sense and discretion. It has been common practice for at least 15 years to my personal knowledge, to arrest everybody in a car on a contraband charge [i]when neither statements nor other evidence allow the officer to figure out which among them has no connection to the contraband[/i]. The police don't, and in the future probably won't, arrest people willy-nilly in these situations. Think for a minute. The car is registered to [i]somebody[/i] and the cops will know who that is; the contraband will almost always be found in proximity to some occupants rather than others; very often people will fess up rather than have their girlfriend taken to jail for their own personal stash. OTOH, it has long been commonplace to arrest the whole hooptie-load when you find an ounce of cocaine in the console. But guess what happens next? If the evidence doesn't change, [i]they all get to go home[/i]! This is because "probable cause" is a vastly lower standard than the standard needed to charge and convict. If you have no prints, no statements, and no proof of knowledge of presence of the contraband, you can't convict any of them. Facially, this is a creepy idea. But tell me what you want John Law when he stops a van filled with local dirtbags - and your gun collection? Let 'em go because nobody will bite the bullet?
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 3:39:42 PM EDT
Another time that people want security over liberty. When are you people gonna learn?
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 3:48:10 PM EDT
Originally Posted By thedave1164: Another time that people want security over liberty. When are you people gonna learn?
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Yup. I'm just going to give my vote against this. Another slippery slope... Won't waste my time arguing it. I shouldn't have to. If you don't understand the ramifications of this you aren't likely to be dissuaded by me.
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 4:10:12 PM EDT
Police state expansion.
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 4:28:44 PM EDT
I can see the argument for both ways. After all, were I a cop, and I pulled over a car with 3 keys of crank in plain view in the trunk (assuming they were idiots and let me search the car without probable cause first)...I'd want to arrest all the occupants of the car. I can also see an argument where you just picked up a friend, who happened to have a nice bindle of coke in his gym bag, and you were giving him a lift...and you get stopped, play the same sequence of "sure, you can search my car" (hell, you have nothing to hide, right?)...and it gets found, and you go to jail for some shitbird. It's a long, slippery slope...because I, for one, wouldn't like a cop to search my car, but if it got me home (and his badge number, and his shift supervisor's name, so I could call them and ask WHAT THE FUCK, and then lodge a complaint with my local congresscritter for undue searches, not to mention harassment)...I'd acquiesce. And if my passenger was carrying something, or had a bag he or she left in the backseat with 2 weeks worth of product from Cali...well, never mind that I'd make it my mission in life to make sure they don't outlive me, but I'd be plenty, plenty pissed for being subjected to our justice system for something I not only didn't do, but didn't have any way of knowing beforehand. Just my opinion...but I think the ruling is bad.
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 4:44:52 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/15/2003 4:47:44 PM EDT by jrzy]
Fuck SCOTUS on this one. When I was 17 and I gave a girls older brother a ride to the boardwalk on my way home from her house, we were stopped and he was moving around in his seat so much the cop pulled us out and asked did I know my inspection sticker was over due, i said yeah I will take care of it the next day. He starts searching the front seat area and I'm not worried until he says to his partner, "BINGO" I just knew "BINGO" couldn't be a good thing. It turns out the girls brother was a part time weed dealer. I was half way to my death at the hands of my father who would have killed me on the spot in the police station. The cops says "who does this belong to" holding up what I would guess was about an once of Pot. The girls brother said it was his and he took the heat for his actions, I always wondered what would have happened if he said "not mine" The girl wouldn't talk to me after that and somehow I got blamed for his dumb ass actions because my inspection sticker was over due and that caused us to get stopped in the first place. Shame too, she was hot!
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 4:51:37 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/15/2003 4:53:48 PM EDT by Avtomat]
It appears to only hold that there is probable cause, not that they all can be executed. Let's go ahead and assume the assweb scenario. Lets assume a cop pulls over a carload of GOA members. A lawful search (for whatever reason), reveals an unlawful item (a joint, child porn, anthrax, whatever). Can we say that there is no "reasonable ground for supposing that a charge is well-founded" against the vehicle occupants? Two options: arrest them all, or let them all go. I'm just not buying the "let them all go, because it could be you 'logic'."
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 4:55:37 PM EDT
Originally Posted By NYPatriot: Guys... look past the "drug" aspect of this decision and see it for what it is... the state's official approval of "guilt by association"!
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Agreed
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 5:06:39 PM EDT
"Innocent until proven guilty." Well, that's how it was SUPPOSED to work... Several Supreme Court justices are clearly overdue for retirement. Their senility is becoming quite noticeable. CJ
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 5:11:38 PM EDT
Okay, aparently I'm in the minority here, so I'll ask my questions to see if someone can point out where I'm wrong (IF I am). First off, I don't buy the "innocent until proven guilty" line. Just because you got arrested doesn't mean you've been convicted. I don't consider it out of line for the police to arrest everyone until the facts can be sorted out. How is this any different from busting everyone at a drug party, even if YOU did no drugs? Now, that being said, to detain a person one second longer than it takes to determine who in the car is REALLY the bad guy is obviously wrong, and I'm sure that's something that will eventually be brought up through the courts. But I still don't understand the hoopla about this. When in doubt, the police hold everyone until the facts are sorted out. Don't want to get busted? Watch who you associate with. Where am I wrong?
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 5:15:51 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/15/2003 5:18:39 PM EDT by NYPatriot]
Noname...
Just make sure when you are out cruising with your crackdealin brohams that they will be man enough to admit the shit be theirs and you will be cool...!
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Friend, you missed the point entirely. Ultimately, this decision is not about drugs... it's about the continued erosion of our fundamental liberties! It seems that the SCOTUS has about as much respect for the Fourth Amendment as they do for the 1st. & 2nd. Mark my words... they will eventually find the "Patriot Act" to be peachy keen!
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 5:24:20 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Zaphod: First off, I don't buy the "innocent until proven guilty" line. Just because you got arrested doesn't mean you've been convicted.
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No, it just means a lot of your time and all of your money trying to "prove your innocence". No different than using a firearm in self-defense. They'll take your gun and you'll never get it back.
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 5:42:59 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/15/2003 6:47:15 PM EDT by oneshot1kill]
How about this, who gets arrested and charged if no one admits ownership of illegal item(s) found in this example? I test drive at least ten cars a day at the shop where I work. I'm the driver and the only one in the car at that time. Who is responsible for something found in the customers car during a traffic stop? If I deny it's mine and after contacting the owner he denies it was his, I think I'm the one who will fry because no one else was there to take the rap. Of course the owner of the car is not going to admit that any drugs or an illegal pistol was his when the LEO tries to contact him. Especially considering the mandatory sentence for illegal pistols in NY. Another example along the same lines; I also have the responsibility of driving customers home or to the train station from the shop. If they are carrying something and dump it during a police stop, and if no one admits it was thiers, then both of us are getting arrested and charged witha crime under the new ruling. That is seriously screwed up. It has nothing to do with upgrading the quality of your friends or any such excuse. Unless you live in a sheltered world you will eventually come in contact with people that you really don't know well enough to make a judgement call on. Maybee your job requires you to interact with customers(strangers)in some capacity, perhaps in a vehicle like mine does. The fact is that we could never know for certain who is a drug addict and who carries an illegal weapon because drug addicts don't always look like they do on tv. They can be anyone, even a co-worker or friend, but you may never know what truly goes on in thier private life because no one wants to admit being an addict. This ruling has got bad news written all over it and it's in plain english, I don't like it at all. (Edited for spelling and grammar)
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 7:10:47 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/15/2003 7:13:30 PM EDT by drjarhead]
Originally Posted By Zaphod: Okay, aparently I'm in the minority here, so I'll ask my questions to see if someone can point out where I'm wrong (IF I am). First off, I don't buy the "innocent until proven guilty" line. Just because you got arrested doesn't mean you've been convicted.
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So we can be arrested and held on suspicion only? Further, my experience with jury duty has been that there is a "guilty until proven innocent" attitude and if the cops bring you in you must've done something wrong. Not so easy to be "proven innocent".
I don't consider it out of line for the police to arrest everyone until the facts can be sorted out. How is this any different from busting everyone at a drug party, even if YOU did no drugs?
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For starters the war on drugs is bullshit. It is also an utter failure. I deal with these people daily and they are major PITA. But I really don't care if they sit at home and get stoned on their vehicle of choice. Don't hurt me any, I just wish they'd leave me out of it. I ain't gonna give them drugs anyway. There should be less laws, period. That is one of the greatest failings of our system of gov't. The FFs should have made it far more difficult to enact new laws. I suppose that they thought with 2 houses of congress, a president and a judicial branch to throw a wrench in the works, that it would be pretty damn difficult. Not enough so IMO. There are so many that not even attorneys and judges know them all. How many judges do their own taxes?
Now, that being said, to detain a person one second longer than it takes to determine who in the car is REALLY the bad guy is obviously wrong, and I'm sure that's something that will eventually be brought up through the courts.
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I wouldn't count on that. Another decision on a nearly similar case is unlikely to be brought forward by SCROTUS for the foreseeable future. As it stands now, WHO'S to decide what is too long. Granted, most LEOs and DAs are not going to abuse this but eventually some will. And what stands in their way. Not much...
But I still don't understand the hoopla about this. When in doubt, the police hold everyone until the facts are sorted out. Don't want to get busted? Watch who you associate with.
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Considering the overwhelming number of laws on the books and the fact that we all probably violate at least 10 daily, I guess that means we shouldn't hang out with anyone. There are alot of drug users out their who could probably fool you for years before you figured it out. If not you, someone else. This is America. We can live in a free country or we can let the fascists decide who will be the priveleged. [b]There are risks to living in a free nation. They are worth it my opinion.[/b]
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 7:19:53 PM EDT
Originally Posted By drjarhead: So we can be arrested and held on suspicion only?
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That's usually the way it works, yeah...
Further, my experience with jury duty has been that there is a "guilty until proven innocent" attitude and if the cops bring you in you must've done something wrong. Not so easy to be "proven innocent".
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If there is no evidence, any lawyer worth his salt can nullify this. Granted, you still have to go through it all, but prosecuters rarely go after cases they don't think they can win.
For starters the war on drugs is bullshit. It is also an utter failure. I deal with these people daily and they are major PITA. But I really don't care if they sit at home and get stoned on their vehicle of choice. Don't hurt me any, I just wish they'd leave me out of it. I ain't gonna give them drugs anyway. There should be less laws, period. That is one of the greatest failings of our system of gov't. The FFs should have made it far more difficult to enact new laws. I suppose that they thought with 2 houses of congress, a president and a judicial branch to throw a wrench in the works, that it would be pretty damn difficult. Not enough so IMO. There are so many that not even attorneys and judges know them all. How many judges do their own taxes?
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I agree that the WOD sucks. You still didn't answer my question. In situations were any one of several people could be the suspect, has it not always been SOP to hold everyone until the facts are sorted out?
I wouldn't count on that. Another decision on a nearly similar case is unlikely to be brought forward by SCROTUS for the foreseeable future. As it stands now, WHO'S to decide what is too long. Granted, most LEOs and DAs are not going to abuse this but eventually some will. And what stands in their way. Not much...
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A perfectly valid concern.
This is America. We can live in a free country or we can let the fascists decide who will be the priveleged.
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Here we go with the fascist and priveleged stuff again. Let's keep a sense of perspective, shall we? Is there a legal angle I'm missing here? Is there a difference between an ARREST and a DETENTION (roadside, whatever)? Perhaps my confusion lies in my not knowing that.
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 7:51:37 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Zaphod:
Originally Posted By drjarhead: So we can be arrested and held on suspicion only?
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That's usually the way it works, yeah...
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Well, no it isn't. At least not until now, apparently. Certainly there are situations where people are held briefly for suspicion of crimes do to extreme but realistic concerns for public safety. ie suspicion of murder, etc. Suspicion of drugs? Give me a break! Seems that to many the mere mention of drugs causes them to relinquish all concerns for justice, constitutional rights, etc. It is no different than any other MINOR crime. Less so IMO. Prohibition ended along time ago and alcohol is by far the worst drug there is.
Further, my experience with jury duty has been that there is a "guilty until proven innocent" attitude and if the cops bring you in you must've done something wrong. Not so easy to be "proven innocent".
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If there is no evidence, any lawyer worth his salt can nullify this. Granted, you still have to go through it all, but prosecuters rarely go after cases they don't think they can win.
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Pretty expensive proposition considering the nature of the "crime". Further, not everyone can afford a good attorney. So if you cannot you are just pretty much screwed I take it. Perhaps you have copped an attitude and the DA has decided he's going all the way with this one. Maybe he just thinks your wife would be fun to bang. Evidence gets falsified, lab results get fixed and cops lie. Not all the time, of course, but enough that it should concern us all.
For starters the war on drugs is bullshit. It is also an utter failure. I deal with these people daily and they are major PITA. But I really don't care if they sit at home and get stoned on their vehicle of choice. Don't hurt me any, I just wish they'd leave me out of it. I ain't gonna give them drugs anyway. There should be less laws, period. That is one of the greatest failings of our system of gov't. The FFs should have made it far more difficult to enact new laws. I suppose that they thought with 2 houses of congress, a president and a judicial branch to throw a wrench in the works, that it would be pretty damn difficult. Not enough so IMO. There are so many that not even attorneys and judges know them all. How many judges do their own taxes?
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I agree that the WOD sucks. You still didn't answer my question. In situations were any one of several people could be the suspect, has it not always been SOP to hold everyone until the facts are sorted out?
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It's a tough one I will admit. But its drugs. NOT a body in the trunk of a car. I don't have the perfect solution but I would rather that a few petty criminals go free than we cast our constitution aside. It is not this case per se that is concerning but the potential abuse of this decision. Remember RICO? No knock warrants? Once again anything seems to become justified as soon as the accusation of drugs is involved. Next year it could be anything else. Perhaps you made an offhand rascist remark that was overheard in the local bistro. You're a vet, you've mentioned some explosive device or talked about guns before. Surely, you must be a domestic terrorist youwhite supremacist you! For all I know you are black--just an example.
This is America. We can live in a free country or we can let the fascists decide who will be the priveleged.
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Here we go with the fascist and priveleged stuff again. Let's keep a sense of perspective, shall we?
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Well, who is going to decide just who gets held and who doesn't? Not me. Not you. We should be very careful who's hands we put power into. I think that this was the idea behind our entire form of gov't. Yes, it may seem a little extreme at this point if you consider only this decision. Alot of us, liberals included, are becoming very concerned about the incremental loss of our rights and freedoms, and gov't intrusion into our lives. There are risks to living in a free society. They are worthwhile in my opinion.
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 7:54:28 PM EDT
Originally Posted By drjarhead: We should be very careful who's hands we put power into. I think that this was the idea behind our entire form of gov't. Yes, it may seem a little extreme at this point if you consider only this decision. Alot of us, liberals included, are becoming very concerned about the incremental loss of our rights and freedoms, and gov't intrusion into our lives. There are risks to living in a free society. They are worthwhile in my opinion.
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Well, there's certainly no arguing that point... Man, you KNOW it's bad when LIBERALS are worried about this! [shock]
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 7:55:14 PM EDT
I miss the old days when the cops would just take your stash and tell you not to do that again.
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 3:05:16 AM EDT
This ruling is yet another manifistation of where the "War on Drugs" has taken this nation.
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 3:30:09 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/16/2003 3:32:52 AM EDT by RipMeyer]
I swear to GOD this board has been invaded by communists! [size=6][b]PAPERS PLEASE COMRADE[/b][/size=6] You people that think this decision is a good thing are off your rocker.
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 3:41:02 AM EDT
Guilty by association. Hell, the Christians have been practising this for some time now, no surprise the SCOTUS just made it legal. Back in HS, I had a friend who I hadn't seen in some time. We reconeected and I gave him a ride every now and then when his car was being worked on. I had no idea that he had also started using drugs. One day I found out he had a huge stash of weed on him. I bitched him out about it and I do mean I tore into him. That was the last time he was in my car, but what had happened if he had stashed it within the car during the trip and refused to own up to it? I should go to jail for that?
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 7:40:31 AM EDT
I've been a cop all my adult life since the age of 21, and I can't say I totally agree with this ruling. If there is a large quantity that all in the car would have a resonable expectation to know the contraband was in there based on the circumstances, I would agree with it, but just carte blanche bustin' everyone in the car just kinda goes against my grain. The driver of the car has care, control and custody of the vehicle, and in most situations is ultimately responsible for whats in the car, but again if dope was found in a passengers inside pocket, where is the affirmative link to the driver? In my dept (Dallas Tx PD) I think it would be hard to get the arrest of all, merely for being in the car and no other connection, past a jail sgt. Common sense SHOULD dictate the arrest at the scene. Regardless of what SCOTUS says though, this is just PC for the Arrest, not the Conviction. But thats just my opinion, I could be wrong..
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 9:28:16 AM EDT
Some of you guys say "replace drugs with guns" The cop already stated it in the article.
"You certainly wouldn't let three people with Uzis in their car leave because no one would admit the uzis were theirs," he said.
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Hey in this case there is nothing illegal with UZIs. He makes a complete moot point in that statement, because a gun will only show up on a report if stolen. BISHOP
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 9:46:04 AM EDT
It's about time those babies stapped into car seats get what's coming to them..... Carpooling will get real interesting after there are a few busts for some guy with a couple of his wife's tylenol 3's in his pocket. My wife carries my prescription drugs in a pillbox in her purse. I wonder if I could get busted on drug charges for my own prescriptions if my wife happens to be carrying them.
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 1:42:38 PM EDT
Zaphod, You're in the minority because only a minority of posters here know how the justice system works. You can't be arrested on reasonable suspicion. You can be stopped and detained for it, but you can only be arrested if the police have probable cause to believe a crime has been committed. You can only be convicted if the jury believes you have committed a crime beyond a reasonable doubt. Looks to me like the Supremes said drugs in a common area of the car is probable cause to believe the occupants of the car are committing the crime of drug possession. The alternative was, at one point, to release them all unless you can get one to admit it was theirs. What this ruling encourages is getting the druggies to testify against each other.
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 2:02:14 PM EDT
Originally Posted By dport: Zaphod, You're in the minority because only a minority of posters here know how the justice system works. [red]You can't be arrested on reasonable suspicion. You can be stopped and detained for it, but you can only be arrested if the police have probable cause to believe a crime has been committed.[/red] You can only be convicted if the jury believes you have committed a crime beyond a reasonable doubt.
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That's exactly the difference in terminology I was afraid I was stumbling over. Thanks for clarifying...
Looks to me like the Supremes said drugs in a common area of the car is probable cause to believe the occupants of the car are committing the crime of drug possession. The alternative was, at one point, to release them all unless you can get one to admit it was theirs. What this ruling encourages is getting the druggies to testify against each other.
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Well, I suppose I see their point, but if [b]arrests[/b] are now permissible on suspicion only, then I fear that abuse will follow. Still, I can't help but agree with the cops on the issue at hand. It's a sticky issue simply because there are so many variables. How much contraband (no matter what it is), the nature of the contraband, the relationship between the perpetrators, the risk assessment, etc. I reckon we'll see.....
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 2:27:59 PM EDT
Originally Posted By natez: We have always gone by affirmative links, at least in my part of Texas. For big loads (smuggling quantities; pounds and such), it is reasonable to assume that everyone in the vehicle would have reasonably known they were hauling lots of dope. For the more common dime bags, we go by statements from vehicle occupants, proximity and observed behavior (quantifiable facts that tend to indicate being under the influence of drugs). If everyone in the car is stoned, then we may have filed on all. It really depends. If all else fails, the owner/operator takes the rap. We discussed this today and are still going to go with the tighter affirmative link standard, despite the SCOTUS ruling; it just seems more fair, and there is nothing that says that you have to be MORE lenient than what the Supremes say you can be (just look at pursuit policies).
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This sounds like the most [b]logical[/b] way of doing things. For non-smuggling quantities, either the guy confesses or the driver gets arrested. The driver is ultimately responsible for who is in the car. If the owner of the drugs fesses up, then the rest of the occupants and driver go on their merry way. The new ruling does not actually [b]help[/b] the police unless they are only looking for warm bodies to put in jail.
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 3:01:24 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/16/2003 3:02:10 PM EDT by t-stox]
Look people ! because of this whole 'war on drugs' combined with the 'war on terror' Get over it! [size=3]you live in a faschist society!!![/size=3] just accept it and you'll be a lot happier! remember dr. strangelove? with this new found knowledge comes new found responsability. Assume the following- 1. the police can search you when ever and where ever they want 2. the alphabet soup (FBI,NSA etc) will and DO moniter all e-mails, web sites, usenet,forums (like this one) they use special key word search programs to do this. 3. always assume the worst! this story only comes as a suprise to me because I ALWAYS assumed the cops could do that and did'nt realize people were trying to fight it in court. 4.assume everyone is a potential informer or "rat". The gov't always encourages people to turn in their friends and neighibors. in other words keep your cards close to your vest. I belive if you live by these codes you will be a lot happier and won't be so angry every time you hear SCOTUS or some other Institution doing such things! T(the last of the freedom fighters)-stox
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 3:07:02 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/16/2003 3:09:03 PM EDT by dport]
Originally Posted By Zaphod: Well, I suppose I see their point, but if [b]arrests[/b] are now permissible on suspicion only, then I fear that abuse will follow. Still, I can't help but agree with the cops on the issue at hand. It's a sticky issue simply because there are so many variables. How much contraband (no matter what it is), the nature of the contraband, the relationship between the perpetrators, the risk assessment, etc. I reckon we'll see.....
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Arrests are only allowed upon probable cause. The Supremes did not change that. What they did say was drugs found in the common areas of the car was probable cause to arrest all passengers in the car. That allows the police to take the occupants back to the station and interrogate them to better determine who it belongs to, if indeed they were not sharing. Basically, it allows a more thorough investigation. Several years ago, in most states, if someone didn't own up to the drugs being theirs the cops had to let them all go. Word got out quick to deny, deny, deny. There seems to be a perception that an arrest will automatically lead to a trial. That is most certainly not the case. In fact, IIRC, something like 3% of all arrests actually go to trial. Over 50% end up being dropped by the prosecutor because the proof cannot go beyond probable cause. Something in the 40% range get plead down.
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 4:38:11 PM EDT
There's a lot of difference between a cop with probable cause and a jury decision. If a cop can't tell who the contraband belongs to, then he may have no choice but to haul everybody in and sort things out "downtown" as they say in the movies. I think this decision is OK, given the realities of enforcement on the scene. HOWEVER I think a lot of you guys are confusing the cop doing his job with legislators not doing theirs. You guys with the scenario of substituting guns for drugs miss this point: possession of illegal drugs is a crime, possession of legal guns isn't (legal being the operative word). Keep the legislators from making guns illegal, you won't have this particular problem with the cops. Substitute the anonymous drug scenario with the arabs (Mexicans, Klansmen, whatever) transporting a case of select fire AK-47s and hell, yes, arrest them all. If it turns out one of them is a Class 3 dealer and one of the others has just had the AKs transferred and they're taking them to his domicile, then you let 'em go. But not until the situation is checked out. I think at the enforcement level you have to be very conservative, but after that is when "innocent until proven guilty" comes in, rules of evidence, reasonable doubt, and all the other aspects of due process. Remember that the cops don't arrest for things that aren't illegal. Or they shouldn't, but that's why we have courts.
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 8:37:16 PM EDT
Interesting. My state doesnt have joint possession of drugs. If someone hides a gram of coke in the car, you have to pin it on one person. If you cant get anyone to cop to it, or rat someone out, then by default it goes to the man with the car keys. Even better if he also happenes the be the registered owner. Now If you find a Kilo of Coke, it's a different story. But no Joint possession of small quantities.
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 8:51:00 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/16/2003 8:52:16 PM EDT by AR15fan]
Originally Posted By KA3B: I miss the old days when the cops would just take your stash and tell you not to do that again.
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That will never happen in Orange County again... [url]http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=1&f=5&t=217671[/url]
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