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Old 09-07-2012, 12:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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http://www.scotusblog.com/2012/07/ja...s-made-simple/
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Old 09-07-2012, 12:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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2 comments:

1. Since it's a long technical read and you're in law enforcement, would you mind giving a summary of what this means?

2. An officer uses their eyes to spot contraband, weapons, etc inside vehicles without entering. How is a dog's nose any different?
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Old 09-08-2012, 05:32 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freddy View Post
2 comments:

1. Since it's a long technical read and you're in law enforcement, would you mind giving a summary of what this means?

2. An officer uses their eyes to spot contraband, weapons, etc inside vehicles without entering. How is a dog's nose any different?
That article is written for the laymen. It is not full of technical jargon. If you are truly interested, anything I could say would be redundant to the existing article. It summarizes both arguments very well in an easy to read and understand format.

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Old 09-08-2012, 07:08 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I thought it was very nice and have that site bookmarked. We discussed these cases (and more) in a class on k9 case law at the police department and the summary is nce.

It is very nice being able to also click on the hyperlink with the case name and see all the various details.

I do have a question though. I looked for some cases from the circuit courts like Melgar v Greene and they are not in the archives. Is this only for cases that get bumped up to the US Supreme Court? What exactly is a "Merits Case"..can't really find a good definition.

Ok is this correct? So they are cutting to the chase on a Merits Case and not considering the technicalities that get stuff thrown out?
http://legal-dictionary.thefreedicti.../on+the+merits
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Old 09-08-2012, 07:23 AM   #5 (permalink)
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It's actually pretty understandable why the courts ruled in those ways. There is still very little scientific evidence as to how exactly dogs detect odors. Then proving that a dog is 100% accurate on its detecting is just as tough. It's also pretty easy for a police department to just teach a dog to "alert" to something much simpler just to be able to get into vehicles and homes. Or just teach a dog to sit when the cop stops moving (most of us do that with our dogs anyways) and say "oh its an alert" please get out of your vehicle. I don't believe a police department would ever do this, and I'm sure they are all more ethical than this, but it does leave the door open for this kind of entrapment if you follow dogs (or any other method not proven by science) blindly.

I don't think this is a set back for police departments, its just what everyone always wants...protection under the constitution. I'm not one of those "protect my rights under all circumstances" people but this makes sense to me...a police officer shouldn't be able to use any tools that aren't easily acquired by the general public in order to gain evidence for a search of private property.
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Old 09-08-2012, 07:31 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I've actually known about the heat-seaking court ruling for a while and I'm surprised that dogs didn't fall under that precedent in federal courts. I can see that changing very soon as dogs get better and better trained. Remember this doesn't affect those that are being searched with reasonable suspicion already, you just cant use the dog to gain that reasonable suspicion.
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Old 09-08-2012, 08:43 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I have much mixed emotion about content. As everyone knows I am pro law enforcement for the use of dogs. Am still a consultant for two depts.
But let me tell a little story about an experience when I was in military. At that time I was handling a Narcotic Contraband Dog. We used to run missions on post where we might run 100 cars in two hour period at certain junctions. Now I had the top dog on the post in terms of "finds" and in terms of % of finds. My dog worked at plus 95% well into over a hundred finds.(I even got a commendation from Dept. of Army on his working results).
We were working an intersection one night and a van with long hairs came through the roadblock. Now we had unwritten orders that if a Van with long hairs, or Blacks, or a luxury car with young blacks in it, the dog WILL alert. Now I was the only African American in the Narcotic dog unit. So on this night a van with long hairs comes through the roadblock and I work Gustav on the vehicle. He did not alert. I purposely took him around the vehicle again....still no alert....so I told the driver he could go. The OIC went bonkers and asked me what I was doing....I told him the dog didn't alert.....he told me to put my dog up and I was through for the night.....I had just started....lol. Anyway, the next day I was called in and questioned about being a team player.....I told them I had the best d--- dog in the unit and if he didn't alert...then I saw no need to call one. Needless to say this didn't go over well, but they couldn't discipline me because they were wrong!
So I really see both sides of this coin....lived it! Any of the handler with the passive sit alert dogs could make their dogs false alert anytime they wanted, so it is not improbable at all. I am one that believes if we as law enforcers cheat at enforcing the law then we are no better than the ones we seek.jmo
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Old 09-08-2012, 09:04 AM   #8 (permalink)
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And the problem with "k9 trainers" that are not DEA certified (but infer) and train with pseudo. That adds to the problem.
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Old 09-08-2012, 03:52 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martemchik View Post
I've actually known about the heat-seaking court ruling for a while and I'm surprised that dogs didn't fall under that precedent in federal courts. I can see that changing very soon as dogs get better and better trained. Remember this doesn't affect those that are being searched with reasonable suspicion already, you just cant use the dog to gain that reasonable suspicion.

The problem we ran into with FLIR was that they considered it intrusive. A dog sniff is not intrusive under the right circumstances. Air is free doctrine:-)
Reasonable suspicion is not enough for a warrant less search. One needs probable cause. The reason we can conduct a warrantless search of a vehicle on a traffic stop based on the probable cause of a certified narc dog's alert is that the courts have said that the car is mobile and we can only detain for a reasonable amount of time. Reasonableness is somewhat relative but the time involved in obtaining a search
warrant would go far over that line.

Reliability with regard to actual use is a bit tough. Just because the dog alerted and nothing was found does not mean that the dog false alerted.. He could have alerted on residual or we just did not find it.reliability in maintenance training is a known. Not so on the street.

I can run my dog where I have a right to be ie public access.

FYI the alert of a cadaver dog is reasonable suspicion only
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Old 09-08-2012, 05:17 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jocoyn View Post
I thought it was very nice and have that site bookmarked. We discussed these cases (and more) in a class on k9 case law at the police department and the summary is nce.

It is very nice being able to also click on the hyperlink with the case name and see all the various details.

I do have a question though. I looked for some cases from the circuit courts like Melgar v Greene and they are not in the archives. Is this only for cases that get bumped up to the US Supreme Court? What exactly is a "Merits Case"..can't really find a good definition.

Ok is this correct? So they are cutting to the chase on a Merits Case and not considering the technicalities that get stuff thrown out?
on the merits legal definition of on the merits. on the merits synonyms by the Free Online Law Dictionary.
Nancy, yes. When a case is decided on it's "merits", it's decided on the evidence of that case alone.

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