Published byJacob Reynolds Modified over 7 years ago
Unit Five Lesson 31 How do the Fourth and Fifth Amendments Protect Against Unreasonable Law Enforcement Procedures
The Purpose and Importance of the Fourth Amendment
The amendment protects persons, houses, papers and other personal effects from “unreasonable searches and seizures” Prohits GENERAL WARRANTS Requires warrants supported by probable cause Requires a judge/magistrate to decide on probable cause Requires warrant to specifically describe the “place to be searched and the persons/things to be seized” The Supreme Court ruled that the 4th Amendment protected reasonable expectations of privacy from intrusion by government officials The rapid growth to surveillance technology makes concerns about privacy particularly HUGE in today’s world
Issues with interpreting and applying the Fourth Amendment
Balance between the need for a safe and orderly society and a person’s right to autonomy and privacy 3 Important Questions When is a warrant required? What is “Probable Cause” and when is it required? How should the 4th Amendment be enforced?
When is a warrant required?
Requiring a warrant BEFORE a police officer can search, arrest or seize property places a check on the power of the government (police) from taking arbitrary and unlawful action To get a warrant, the officer must Submit an affidavit (sworn statement) to a judge Present Probable Cause – enough evidence for a reasonable person to believe that it is likely that an illegal act is being or has been committed. Describe, specifically, the place to be searched and what they are searching for (drugs, guns, person, etc) Probable Cause is much more than a hunch but does not require absolute certainty Some unwarranted searches have been deemed legal There are some cases where a warrant is never required Airport Screening, If a person consents to a search
Exclusionary Rule The government cannot use any evidence it obtains illegally in a court of law 1914 – Weeks v. United States – gov’t couldn’t use evidence it took without a warrant against Weeks. They had entered the how without a warrant. 1961 – Mapp v. Ohio – extended the “exclusionary rule” to the states. “Good Faith” exception – if the police acted in “good faith” on a defective warrant, then the evidence can be used in court “Inevitable Discovery” – if the police would have eventually discovered the evidence as a matter of routine investigation, it can be used in court
Alternatives to the Exclusionary Rule
It is debated if there are other ways to “check” the abuse of power by the government without excluding evidence Departmental Discipline – independent boards to investigate abuse of power or a violation of a defendant’s rights Civilian Review Boards – Appointed civilians oversee law enforcement agencies. They would investigate allegations of abuse of power and recommends punishment (suspension or criminal charges) Civil Suits – Persons who believe their rights have bee violated can sue the department or individual officers for money damages
When warrants and probable cause are not required
Schools – not law enforcement officers, are guardians of the students Searches – “reasonable suspicion” not probable cause A search is reasonable if specific facts and rational inferences justify the intrusion The search was related to the circumstances justifying it Health & Safety Random drug testing of public and transportation employees and students who participate in extracurricular activities Searches of home of people who are on probation
What is the MIRANDA RULE?
1966 – The Supreme Court ruled police officers MUST tell all people taken into custody about their right against self-incrimination The Right to remain silent The Right to have an attorney with them when they are being questioned Anything they say can and will be used against them in a court of law If they cannot afford an attorney, one will be appoint for them If the suspect makes a voluntary statement, their words can be used against them Some believe this ruling “handcuffs” the police Others believe this ruling interferes with federalism (the state prosecuting state laws)
The 5th Amendment You have the right NOT TO INCRIMINATE YOURSELF
An incriminating statement is one that tends to establish a person’s guilt or to connect the person to criminal activity A criminal defendant cannot be forced to take the stand to testify at trial But if they do, they must answer all questions asked or “take the 5th” IMMUNITY – witness statement and any evidence resulting from that testimony cannot be used against that witness The right to remain silent (Miranda Ruling) cannot be violated by the police You cannot take the 5th to keep from giving evidence that might incriminate someone else
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