right to counsel. Lastly, in California v. Stewart, local police held and interrogated the defendant for five days without notification of his right to counsel. In all these cases, suspects were question ed by police officers, detectives, or prosecuting attorneys in rooms that cut them off from the outside world. In none of the cases were suspects given warnings of their rights at the outset of their interrogation. Question Does the police practice of interrogating individuals without notifying them of their right to counsel and their protection against self-incrimination violate the Fifth Amendment? Conclusion The Court held that prosecutors could not use statements stemming from custodial interrogation of defendants unless they demonstrated the use of procedural safeguards "effective to secure the privilege against self- incrimination." The Court noted that "the modern practice of in-custody interrogation is psychologically rather than physically oriented" and that "the blood of the accused is not the only hallmark of an unconstitutional inquisition." The Court specifically outlined the necessary aspects of police warnings to suspects, including warnings of the right to remain silent and the right to have counsel present during interrogations. Hudson v. Michigan Facts of the Case Booker T. Hudson was convicted of drug and firearm possession in state court after police found cocaine and a gun in his home. The police had a search warrant, but failed to follow the Fourth Amendment "knock and announce" rule which requires police officers to wait 20-30 seconds after knocking and announcing their presence before they enter the home. The trial judge ruled that the evidence found in the home could therefore not be used, but the Michigan Court of Appeals reversed based on two Michigan Supreme Court cases that created an exception to the suppression of evidence when the evidence in question would have inevitably been found. Question Does the general rule excluding evidence obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment apply to the "knock- and-announce" rule? Conclusion No. In a 5-4 decision, the Court ruled that evidence need not be excluded when police violate the "knock-and- announce" rule. The opinion by Justice Scalia reaffirmed the validity of both the knock-and-announce rule and the "exclusionary rule" for evidence obtained by police in most cases of Fourth Amendment violation. However, the majority held that the exclusionary rule could not be invoked for evidence obtained after a knock- 27
and-announce violation, because the interests violated by the abrupt entry of the police "have nothing to do with the seizure of the evidence." Justice Scalia wrote that the knock-and-announce rule was meant to prevent violence, property-damage, and impositions on privacy, not to prevent police from conducting a search for which they have a valid warrant. The Court also found that the social costs of the exclusionary rule as applied to the knock-and-announce rule outweighed any possible "deterrence benefits," and that alternative measures such as civil suits and internal police discipline could adequately deter violations. Justice Stephen Breyer wrote a
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- Fall '08
- The Bible, Supreme Court of the United States, First Amendment to the United States Constitution