Friday, May 13, 2011

Indiana court: Police free to enter homes without warrants

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Indiana Supreme Court Justice Steven David
Justice Steven David

This is almost beyond words. The Indiana Supreme Court has ruled that Hoosiers have no right to stop cops from unlawfully entering their homes for any reason whatsoever:

INDIANAPOLIS | Overturning a common law dating back to the English Magna Carta of 1215, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Hoosiers have no right to resist unlawful police entry into their homes.

In a 3-2 decision, Justice Steven David writing for the court said if a police officer wants to enter a home for any reason or no reason at all, a homeowner cannot do anything to block the officer's entry.

And get a load of the sort of garbage that Justice David considers to be a good legal rationale:

"We believe ... a right to resist an unlawful police entry into a home is against public policy and is incompatible with modern Fourth Amendment jurisprudence," David said. "We also find that allowing resistance unnecessarily escalates the level of violence and therefore the risk of injuries to all parties involved without preventing the arrest."

Both arguments above are beyond ridiculous. Firstly, how is it even humanly possible to twist the the Fourth Amendment so badly that it becomes possible to interpret it to mean that preventing cops from barging into one’s private residence with absolutely no legal justification is in any way “compatible” with “[t]he right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures”? In other words, the Indiana top court has outright declared that law enforcement illegally entering a residence is not a violation of a top federal law that explicitly forbids law enforcement from illegally entering a residence. They probably deserve an Olympic medal for the sort of mental acrobatics they must’ve performed to conjure up such reasoning.

And just as absurd is the second argument, claiming that a citizen who prevents an officer from illegally entering his home is then responsible for any escalation that could lead to violence and injuries. Apparently, the court thought that the answer to such a conundrum was not to, say, stop the police from entering homes illegally, but rather to place the blame squarely on the victim of such unwarranted raids. After all, how dare they defend the fundamental rights they still believe they have under the new, modern interpretation of the Fourth Amendment, right?

Is it really any wonder why people call that state ass-backwards anymore, when its top court has now declared that its homeowners are actually less free from unlawful intrusions than were peasants in Medieval England?

(via Blag Hag)