17 January 2011

Disappointing court cases

The Volokh Conspiracy has more in depth write-ups for both cases.

In the first, in Illinois, the ACLU has sued the state to get injunctive relief from the Illinois Eavesdropping Act so that citizens may record police officers in order to deter and detect abuse. The court ruled against the ACLU saying that the first amendment does not protect recording in this case. I have a hard time finding fault with the court's ruling, such as it is. I don't really see the connection between recording and free speech. What's disappointing to me about this, though, is the state's unwillingness to allow its agents to be recorded in their official capacity. I often hear the argument, "if you're not doing anything wrong, then you have nothing to hide." Why doesn't the same apply to the state?

In the second, a court in Florida upheld a police search as legal despite its concerns that the search was not consensual as the police claimed and, even more damning, that the police were outright lying about the circumstances under which the search occurred. Here is the court's characterization of the police's testimony:
On the pages of the record, the story told by the police is unbelievable—an anonymous informant gives incriminating information; police surveillance uncovers no criminal conduct; the defendant is “nonchalantly” and “casually” approached by the police on the street; the defendant cooperatively leads the police back to his apartment to obtain his identification and invites the police inside, where a detective sees contraband in plain view, a fact certainly known to the defendant when he issued the invitation; after his arrest, the defendant tells the police about all the hidden drugs in the apartment.
Yet the appellate court still held the search to be legal, affirming the lower court's ruling. If one can't find justice in the courts, where can one find it?

1 comment:

  1. Gotta say, more people should get off of your TSA page and focus more on the rest of them.

    I've been saying this sort of thing for years, without anyone listening. If it isn't on the highest rated news network in their area they don't want to know about it. It's high time someone turned over this government and forced it to smell what it was shoveling.

    Keep telling the facts. You may not want publicity, but don't turn it down if it has a chance of helping.


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