Dennys Rodriguez's Supreme Court Win Fails To Help Dennys Rodriguez

from the sorry,-but-that-Fourth-Amendment-is-for-other-people dept

Dennys Rodriguez took his Fourth Amendment case all the way to the Supreme Court and won. Earlier this year, the Supreme Court concluded that a traffic stop cannot be extended to indulge in fishing expeditions. Instead, it ends when the objective is complete. If an officer pulled someone over for speeding, the stop ends when the citation or warning is delivered, no matter how many favors the officer asks after that point ("Mind if we look in the trunk?" "Would you mind waiting for our K9 unit?").

The court declared that anything past this point is an "unreasonable search." It sent the case back to the lower court for reconsideration in light of its ruling. The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals took another look at its decision… and found a different way to screw Rodriguez out of his Fourth Amendment rights.

It found that the Rodriguez decision (named after the man in front of them for the second time) was all well and good, but existing precedent said the cops could get away with an "unreasonable search" because their actions were "reasonable." Adios, Rodriguez. Hello, Davis.

When Rodriguez’s vehicle was stopped in March 2012, the law of this Circuit provided that a brief delay to employ a drug dog did not constitute an unconstitutional seizure, as long as the traffic stop was not unreasonably prolonged. We thus “repeatedly [had] upheld dog sniffs that were conducted minutes after the traffic stop concluded.”

The magistrate judge, the district court, and this court all determined that the seven- or eight-minute delay in this case constituted a de minimis intrusion on Rodriguez’s personal liberty and that Rodriguez’s seizure was lawful under our then binding precedent. Under Davis, therefore, the exclusionary rule does not apply because the circumstances of Rodriguez’s seizure fell squarely within our case law and the search was conducted in objectively reasonable reliance on our precedent.
No evidence suppression for Rodriguez. The Supreme Court may have found in his favor, but he's going to jail anyway.

Not only has the "good faith" exception swallowed the rule, it has consumed a citizen's Supreme Court victory. Scott Greenfield has penned an imaginary letter from the Supreme Court to one of its unluckiest "winners" that cuts through the legalese to deliver the devastating point of the lower court's ruling on remand.
Now for a little bad news. While you’re going down in history, it’s not really going to do much for you. I know, you stuck it out, made the right, and reached the top of the mountain. Good on you for your tenacity. But as much as you convinced us that your constitutional rights were violated, well, you aren’t going to get the benefit of your hard work.

You see, because you won, and the way cops understood their authority until you won, we give them one free pass on violating your constitutional rights. I know, it sucks, but how would they know you were going to kick butt? I mean, what are the chances, right? So they acted in good faith based on existing law and, since the purpose of suppression is to give them a little smack for being bad boys, there is no deterrence to be gained by punishing them for what they did in good faith.
Rodriguez has won the judicial system lottery: his rights were violated and he's still going to jail, because the police officers who kept him detained past the point of the stop's "objective" were well within the expansive confines of the good faith exception.

The appeals court has "allowed" Rodriguez to "pay it forward." The precedent set by the Supreme Court's decision will (possibly) head off a few unconstitutional searches in the future. But for Dennys Rodriguez, it does nothing. He just had the misfortune of being illegally searched before the Supreme Court decided he'd been illegally searched.

Filed Under: 4th amendment, dennys rodriguez, exclusionary rule, good faith exception, police, search, supreme court


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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 8 Sep 2015 @ 2:42am

    Law, what law?

    The precedent set by the Supreme Court's decision will (possibly) head off a few unconstitutional searches in the future.

    No, it won't, and in fact it won't even slow such searches down. All a cop has to do is claim that they were unaware of the SC ruling, and they'll get to search cars to their heart's content.

    So long as police can rely on the 'Good faith exception', they don't have to pay the slightest bit of lip service to what the law actually says, so long as they think they're within the law when they do something(or are willing to lie and claim as such). If anything, the 'good faith exception' provides incentives for cops not knowing the law, as the less they know, the more they can get away with.

    For cops, 'Ignorance of the law' is not only a valid excuse in court, it's a desired state.

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    • icon
      ottermaton (profile), 8 Sep 2015 @ 6:51am

      Re: Law, what law?

      For cops, 'Ignorance of the law' is not only a valid excuse in court, it's a desired state.

      That's pretty much exactly what I came on here to say. "Ignorance of the law is no excuse" apparently is only applicable to citizens.

      I just love how they can't even follow the rules they themselves make.

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      • identicon
        Rekrul, 8 Sep 2015 @ 7:11am

        Re: Re: Law, what law?

        That's pretty much exactly what I came on here to say. "Ignorance of the law is no excuse" apparently is only applicable to citizens.

        I just love how they can't even follow the rules they themselves make.


        That doesn't just apply to ignorance of the law, it applies to pretty much everything the cops do.

        Try to have someone arrested for poking you with their finger and the cops will laugh at you. Poke one of them with your finger while they're laughing and not only will the laughter stop, you'll be slammed to the ground and arrested for felony assault.

        Shoot someone because they make you nervous and you'll be arrested for murder. Make the cops nervous during your arrest and they can kill you with complete impunity.

        Break into someone's backyard and shoot their dog and you'll be arrested for trespassing and cruelty to animals. If a cop does the same thing, they get a free pass.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2015 @ 7:23am

          Re: Re: Re: Law, what law?

          This sort of stuff will only cause the criminal element to try their hand even more against the lives of cops when pulled over, while even more innocent citizens get caught in the cross-fire.

          The Police-State has successfully created a self-fulfilling prophecy that will guarantee escalation from more criminals, causing more justification for a police state, causing crime to go higher if by nothing other than the law making it illegal not to do everything a cop says or else!

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        • icon
          Bergman (profile), 14 Sep 2015 @ 12:41am

          Re: Re: Re: Law, what law?

          Exactly right.

          But the true irony here is that the special treatment police receive is nothing more and nothing less than being treated as being innocent until proven guilty coupled to prosecutors exercising discretion in the cause of justice.

          Both of these things are supposed to be done every single time for every single person who encounters the legal system. This is how the system is SUPPOSED to work, for EVERYONE.

          The fact that these things are only applied to members of the legal system tribe is corruption of the highest order. Every time they fail to treat every accused person this way, they violate their oath of service/office.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2015 @ 7:15am

        Re: Re: Law, what law?

        For law enforcement and the legal system the rules are more like "guidelines"

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2015 @ 10:29am

        Re: Re: Law, what law?

        Funny, I also came here to say this.

        We should call the "Good Faith Exception" by its proper name: "Ignorance of the Law Exception"

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    • icon
      Sheogorath (profile), 9 Sep 2015 @ 11:53am

      Re: Law, what law?

      In court, a savvy lawyer argues that if ignorance of the law is no excuse for the ordinary citizen, then someone charged with upholding it should be fired for a similar lack of knowledge that was obviously gained through actual ignorance. The judge agrees with this and lays the smackdown on the DOJ before revealing their true identity as Jesus Christ just as he return to heaven; because I'm telling you, it would take a fucking miracle before judges wise up to the way cops use ignorance of the law as a tool to deny citizens their rights not just in the US.

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      • identicon
        Justme, 9 Sep 2015 @ 3:58pm

        Re: Re: Law, what law?

        And that is the biggest problem with the good faith exception, it reward's willful ignorance.

        What should be expected of law enforcement is an above average knowledge of the law and some degree of knowledge of principles that form the foundation of our legal system. And their actions should be expected to be consistent with that level knowledge and understanding.

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  • icon
    Padpaw (profile), 8 Sep 2015 @ 4:55am

    As long as people have this insane belief that the police can never be wrong America is running full throttle towards a police state.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2015 @ 4:57am

    In practice, the good faith exception does not work. It significantly tilts the balance in favor of the police. They don't really need to consider your rights as long as there is some belief that they may be legally allowed to do it. Cross the line and violate your rights, and no big deal. They can f you anyway. They have zero to loose.

    If a search is a violation of the fourth, it's illegal...period. There should be no exception because they didn't think they were wrong. That excuse doesn't work for anyone else.

    I'd result in a lot more careful consideration of people's rights as well, at least by senior law enforcement. There is literally no reason to not err on over aggressive policing and excessive searches as there is no repercussions (or its so rare as to not be an issue).

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  • icon
    art guerrilla (profile), 8 Sep 2015 @ 5:04am

    what am i missing here ? ? ?

    according to what you say (brief tldr), the supremes said it IS a brightline illegal search and seizure, THE MOMENT the traffic stop is done; and the kops say, um, well, no it is not ? ? ?
    ...and, THAT'S the end of it ? ? ?

    WHAT was the point of the supreme court decision again ? ? ?

    two-tiered law,
    star chambers,
    the state's street executioners walk,
    secret executive 'signing statements',
    rendition,
    torture,
    banksters...

    WHAT was the point of 'the law', again ? ? ?
    'cause, i'm not seein' it...

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    • identicon
      Rekrul, 8 Sep 2015 @ 7:17am

      Re: what am i missing here ? ? ?

      according to what you say (brief tldr), the supremes said it IS a brightline illegal search and seizure, THE MOMENT the traffic stop is done; and the kops say, um, well, no it is not ? ? ?
      ...and, THAT'S the end of it ? ? ?

      WHAT was the point of the supreme court decision again ? ? ?

      The Supreme Court said that traffic stops end after the reason for the stop is taken care of, so that's now (supposedly) the rule. Rodriguez's stop was before that decision was made so the lower court decided that because there wasn't any Supreme Court ruling at the time of his stop, the cops didn't know they couldn't extend the stop, so therefore what they did was legal at the time.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2015 @ 8:44am

        Re: Re: what am i missing here ? ? ?

        because there wasn't any Supreme Court ruling at the time of his stop, the cops didn't know they couldn't extend the stop, so therefore what they did was legal at the time.

        Actually, the decision by the lower court was that even though it was illegal at the time, that little fact doesn't actually matter because the cops didn't think it was illegal. Essentially, that the only time illegal actions by law enforcement actually matters is if the cops admit that there actions were illegal.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2015 @ 12:43pm

          Re: Re: Re: what am i missing here ? ? ?

          So, baiscally, any tainted evidence is perfectly acceptable.

          Such as evidence obtained by torture, which is suppsoedly unlawful in any UN-state.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2015 @ 6:56pm

          Re: Re: Re: what am i missing here ? ? ?

          Problem is that it was always illegal. The 4th Amendment had been around for a couple years by then.

          Just nobody had specifically ruled on the specific facts in this case yet. That doesn't change the fact that it is illegal though.

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    • icon
      tqk (profile), 8 Sep 2015 @ 7:39am

      Re: what am i missing here ? ? ?

      WHAT was the point of 'the law', again?

      Prohibition 2.0. It enables racists to be racist without having to call it racism. Instead, they're "substance abusers", and it's just coincidence that the vast majority of police' time and effort is accosting minorities and the poor.

      The take home from decisions like this? "We're gonna screw you over no matter what and it makes no difference whether you're supposed to have constitutional rights by virtue of being born. Just accept you're the victims/targets du jour, fuck you, and have a marvy day."

      The other take home is, "It won't matter whether you're an abuser when we come to get you. You're the victim/target du jour, remember? We'll find a way. If you're not middle or upper class caucasian, the USA needs you to occupy a prison cell."

      We used to call these things pogroms.

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  • identicon
    beech, 8 Sep 2015 @ 5:23am

    appeal again?

    So can he re-appeal to the supreme court?

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  • identicon
    David, 8 Sep 2015 @ 6:46am

    In a nutshell:

    If the police believe themselves to be above the law, they are.

    It's similar regarding the law's view of government officials routinely employing perjury before Congress and courts because they believe they will get away with it.

    For he's a jolly good faither, for he's a jolly good faither, for he's a jolly good faither, and malice he'll always deny.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2015 @ 6:51am

    Setting a dangerous precedent there supreme court. Keep it up and more people will stop acknowledging your alleged authority in interpretation of the law as these situations increase in their frequency.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2015 @ 6:59am

    That word Unreasonable again!!!!

    How in the history of the fucked up world can so many people work in the legal industry and not be able to read the English language?

    The 4th makes it DAMN CLEAR!!!

    ANYTHING OTHER THAN A WARRANT IS UNREASONABLE! Not what the Supreme court or a lower Circuit court can cock it up to be! The entire legal profession is corrupt!!!

    But hey, what do I know, I am not a legal expert, despite the fact that I seem to be one of the absolute few people in the world able to read the law and understand it so well, easily understanding more than most legal experts!

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2015 @ 7:46am

      Re: That word Unreasonable again!!!!

      They exempted themselves out of being held accountable to it.

      What does the average citizen do when their government shows utter contempt for the laws and rights they are supposed to have. Save when it suits their purposes to say you have them.

      In most cases they revolt.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2015 @ 8:04am

        Re: Re: That word Unreasonable again!!!!

        it is quickly becoming the only avenue left unfortunately.

        The police response to the Ferguson riots (i.e. officers taunting rioters) makes it clear that law enforcement prefers to double down on stupid when it comes to asserting their authority.

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  • identicon
    TMC, 8 Sep 2015 @ 7:23am

    SCOTUS should have limited the effects of their ruling to any 1984 claims against the officers. Now that this is the established trend? People are just going to fail to appeal, and the legal canon of the 4th Amendment will fail to evolve.

    This is an incoherently bad decision. I don't understand how this was a 6-3.

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    • identicon
      TMC, 8 Sep 2015 @ 7:24am

      Re:

      And the dissenting opinions didn't address the goddamn good faith issue, either. They just thought less protection was appropriate! JDOFISAJ*#(USD

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2015 @ 8:11am

        Re: Re:

        We were extensively warned against this by the founding fathers of the nation.

        Guess who the "Public School" & "Higher Educational" systems do not talk about much or teach about very much?

        Now you know why it is important for government to try to control the education system at such a young age!

        We cant be teaching the people about the founding fathers and their quotes!!! They would never submit to our rule having read and understood them! We need a misinformation campaign stat! Lets even tell them that the civil war was about slavery instead of money/land/resources like every other damn war that was ever fought in human history!

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  • identicon
    OnTheWaterfront, 8 Sep 2015 @ 9:29am

    "reasonable" The most litigated word in American Jurist Prudence.

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  • icon
    Whatever (profile), 8 Sep 2015 @ 9:55am

    Both Rulings Make Perfect Sense.

    This is a great story, in part because if you read closely, you can understand how both judgement are correct and reasonable and can co-exist in legal harmony.

    SCOTUS gave a good (and clear at 6-3) decision here. Keeping someone waiting after the end of a traffic stop to use a drug dog or to make other searches is beyond the scope of the traffic stop and as such, needs a warrant. Excellent and pretty darn clear too. Not sure if they address the concept of cops taking their sweet time to finish a traffic stop in order to have a drug dog show up, that's a different story.

    The lower court also got their decision right. As far as the police would have known at the time of the traffic stop, existing judgments and rulings from that court were in force, and that included the concept that a few minutes delay at the end of a traffic stop wasn't unreasonable. The officers worked within the guidelines provided by that court to make the stop and to make the search. They met the requirements of the law and judicial precedent as it stood at the time.

    The new ruling by SCOTUS overrides those actions going forward. It cannot so easily change the past, considering that the cops were operating based on caselaw as it existed at the time. Had the police had a different set of rules to play with, they may have taken different steps or actions. The defendant should not get a retroactive free pass because the police followed the rules correctly at the date and time of the search.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2015 @ 10:14am

      Re: Both Rulings Make Perfect Sense.

      Good faith should mean that they don't go back and open old cases and throw them out.

      The ruling should be applied to the current, open case and thrown out as an illegal search. Otherwise, every case is one in which we're only litigating for future reference because the cops will call 'good faith' for everything.

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    • identicon
      Whoever, 8 Sep 2015 @ 11:11am

      Re: Both Rulings Make Perfect Sense.

      Here's why the rulings set a very bad precedent:

      Why would anyone challenge a search under the 4th amendment in the future? Even if the court rules that the search was illegal under the 4th, the person who appealed won't get the benefit of this ruling. So why should that person waste money appealing? Rinse and repeat for every potentially illegal search.

      In the future, no searches will ever get appealed to SCOTUS because there is no benefit to the accused person.

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      • icon
        Whatever (profile), 8 Sep 2015 @ 6:06pm

        Re: Re: Both Rulings Make Perfect Sense.

        There is a very fine line here and you have to look careful to grok it and work with it. See, the problem at hand here is that, at the time of the search, all of the court rulings and all of the jurisprudence that the police could work with said that this sort of search was legal and above board. There is no indication that the police acted in a manner to knowingly deny the guy his rights.

        You have to ask yourself the simple question: "At the time of the search, did the Police have any reason to believe that they denied the man any of his rights?". The answer is no. They operated fairly and justly to the best of their knowledge and legal advice at the time.

        The key here is the intent of the police actions. Were they trying to deny the guy is rights? Were they pushing a search their knew was illegal? Did they perform some overt act that denied the person his rights, as they were known at the time? The answer to all is no.

        This is a very subtle situation, as there was no "bad act", nothing that the police did that was specifically wrong for the time. SCOTUS has ruled that they cannot do it that way, but until that ruling came out, those methods for searches was permitted and legal (and likely often used in court for convictions).

        Good faith actions by police should not be punished. SCOTUS did not find any overt or direct by acts by police denied the accused his rights. Had they given him a flat tire, handcuffed him, or otherwise detailed him by force or action, then yes, the lower court would have thrown it out.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 10 Sep 2015 @ 10:12pm

          Re: Re: Re: Both Rulings Make Perfect Sense.

          or otherwise detailed him by force or action,


          Any action by the police can be considered to be backed by force. Simply 'asking' someone to wait at the end of the stop can only reasonably be considered a demand by someone who does not want to be arrested/shot/run off the road by an enraged officer who is fuming about how they were disrespected and 'nearly run over' by the 'suspicious' driver.

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    • identicon
      Peter Nelson, 8 Sep 2015 @ 3:32pm

      Re: Both Rulings Make Perfect Sense.

      No - both rulings don't make sense. When SCOTUS rules that the search was illegal, they are not ruling that in the future, such searches are illegal. They are ruling that that search, was illegal. And all like it. Because it violates his rights as set forth in the constitution.

      It was illegal at the time it was performed... and any conviction based on it won't stand an appeal. The lower court knows that - they just don't think he'll run it all the way up the pole again.

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    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 8 Sep 2015 @ 4:54pm

      Re: Both Rulings Make Perfect Sense.

      The new ruling by SCOTUS overrides those actions going forward. It cannot so easily change the past, considering that the cops were operating based on caselaw as it existed at the time.

      They weren't being asked to re-write the past, they were being told 'Re-do the case, taking into account that the search was illegal'. They didn't. 'It was legal at the time' means the defendant taking his case clear to the SC does absolutely nothing for him, because as far as his case was concerned, it might as well have never happened.

      It's completely insane that the search was found illegal, by the SC no less, and yet it's still being treated as legal.

      Had the police had a different set of rules to play with, they may have taken different steps or actions.

      Yeah, they would have ignored those too and claimed that they didn't know any better. 'Good faith exception' basically means that cops, the ones who are supposed to be upholding the law, have a very real incentive not to know it, as the less they know, the more they can do.

      "I didn't think it was illegal when I did it" doesn't work for a non-cop, why should it work for a cop who absolutely should know better?

      The defendant should not get a retroactive free pass because the police followed the rules correctly at the date and time of the search.

      Yes, he absolutely should given he took it all the way up to the SC and they ruled in his favor. In any case though it wouldn't be a free pass, it's simply telling the court, "Your previous ruling relied upon an act that we find to be illegal, do it again, taking this into account." They didn't, effectively nullifying his SC win and making it utterly useless for him.

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      • icon
        Whatever (profile), 8 Sep 2015 @ 6:13pm

        Re: Re: Both Rulings Make Perfect Sense.

        "Yeah, they would have ignored those too and claimed that they didn't know any better. 'Good faith exception' basically means that cops, the ones who are supposed to be upholding the law, have a very real incentive not to know it, as the less they know, the more they can do. "

        I really don't understand the anger here.

        The police didn't ignore the law - they followed all of the court rulings and judgments at the time, and operated within those rulings in good faith. Can you show where they acted in bad faith or ignored the law, based on what they knew at the time of the traffic stop?

        "They didn't, effectively nullifying his SC win and making it utterly useless for him."

        No, they understand the ruling is about correcting or overruling judgments that were in place at the time - not about how the police acted outside of the law and outside of the court accepted understanding of the law at the time. So no matter the SCOTUS ruling, the police action was done in good faith at the time of the arrest. There is no outrageous behavior, no outlandish ruse, no razzle dazzle or physical restraint used. It's a subtle judgement about how many minutes are too many minutes, and not about the actions of any of the officers in relation to the law.

        Put another way, the officers involved would not be brought up on criminal charges for violating the suspect's rights, because they acted in accordance with the law at the time.

        Mr Rodriguez doesn't get much benefit here because he failed to show bad faith in the application of the law.

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        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 8 Sep 2015 @ 7:30pm

          Re: Re: Re: Both Rulings Make Perfect Sense.

          I really don't understand the anger here.

          My 'anger' is based upon the fact that 'good faith exception' basically gives cops a way to break the law, without consequence, so long as they think they're within the law at the time they do it, providing incentive for cops to know as little about the law as possible.

          Conversely, if I or someone else broke the law and claimed that I/they didn't know better at the time, I doubt that would go over very well before a judge. It might lessen the sentence, but I highly doubt it would be enough to get the charges thrown out.

          Or to put it simply, I'm angry at the double-standard. I'm angry that the public is expected to know and follow the laws, and are punished if they aren't and don't, but police aren't held to the same standard, and even when the SC rules that their actions are illegal, the courts still act as though said actions should be given a pass.

          What good is a law or constitutional right if a cop can break it, and even when the action is found illegal, the evidence is still admissible? If anything that provides incentive for them to break the law, or violate the public's rights, as it allows them more evidence to be used in court, with basically no downside.

          No, they understand the ruling is about correcting or overruling judgments that were in place at the time

          Which they didn't do. The SC ruled that the search, and therefore the evidence gathered from it was illegal, and told the lower court to re-do the case with this in mind, yet they completely ignored the SC's ruling and instead acted as though it had never occurred. Hardly a surprise then that the judgement was the same as it was before, given as far as the court was concerned nothing had changed.

          Mr Rodriguez doesn't get much benefit here because he failed to show bad faith in the application of the law.

          Other than the SC ruling you mean? The one that the 'good faith exception' makes completely useless with regards to his case?

          At best the SC ruling might affect future cases, and help future defendants, but for him it was a complete and utter waste of time, money and effort, as it was utterly ignored by the court, to the point where the result was as though he'd never appealed the original judgement at all.

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          • icon
            Whatever (profile), 8 Sep 2015 @ 9:52pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Both Rulings Make Perfect Sense.

            "My 'anger' is based upon the fact that 'good faith exception' basically gives cops a way to break the law, without consequence, so long as they think they're within the law at the time they do it, providing incentive for cops to know as little about the law as possible."

            Wow, you are reaching!

            First off, the cops in this case operated within the guildlines current at the time for the case, as provided by the courts. They were not ignorant of the law, rather the police generally are very carefully trained to follow both the letter of the law and all court rulings when doing traffic stops, searches, and the like.

            So they were given a list of what they could do, what was considered reasonable and unreasonable. They operated within that list. They operated in good faith. They did not say "let's go violate some rights!". They were carefully operating within what the courts allowed.

            The police operate in a slippery sand dune of laws, judgements, and rulings. What is good today isn't good tomorrow. What was off the list today is fine tomorrow. The good faith exemption exists in part to smooth out the dunes and not create huge problems with old cases when the legal landscape changes - either through court rulings or a change in the laws.

            "The SC ruled that the search, and therefore the evidence gathered from it was illegal, and told the lower court to re-do the case with this in mind, yet they completely ignored the SC's ruling and instead acted as though it had never occurred."

            Far from it. They courts made it clear that, if the search happened TODAY in that manner, it would be illegal. However, at the time of the search (aka, not today) the police operated in good faith in performing the search based on all the existing caselaw. Aside from the SC's decision which changes the length of time which is considered acceptable, nothing else happened. The police did not forcibly detail the suspect, they did not handcuff him, arrest him, or disable his vehicle in a manner to deny him his rights as they were understood at that point by the rule of law and the courts.

            Do you honestly think the police believed they were breaking the law and denying him his rights?

            Moreover, if it went the other way (say SCOTUS had said "10 minutes is acceptable"), that police could go back and retrap every case they had ever been involved in where they had been denied evidence because it took 5 minutes to search the car, and retry all of those cases? In those situations, the defendants operated in good faith and shouldn't lose out because the laws moved the other way.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              That One Guy (profile), 9 Sep 2015 @ 1:03am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Both Rulings Make Perfect Sense.

              Far from it. They courts made it clear that, if the search happened TODAY in that manner, it would be illegal.

              And that does what for him? Did it result him winning his case? No, clearly not. Did it result in the evidence gathered being tossed as the result of an illegal search? Again, no. Has his sentence changed at all as a result of the SC ruling? Not as far as I'm aware.

              He won his case before the SC, and the lower court treated him as though nothing had changed. It's practically a text-book perfect example of winning the battle but losing the war. Yeah, you better believe I'm angry at that. Why even bother if that's how the court is going to treat people? You appealed? The appeal went in your favor? Tough, the sentence remains the same.

              The police did not forcibly detail the suspect, they did not handcuff him, arrest him, or disable his vehicle in a manner to deny him his rights as they were understood at that point by the rule of law and the courts.

              Please, there are non-physical restraints that are just as binding as physical ones, and a cop's presence is absolutely one of them. Without a clear acknowledgement that someone is free to go, very few people are going to risk just walking or driving away from a cop, and if a cop really feels like stalling, say for a four-legged 'probably cause' to show up, it would not be hard to avoid giving that acknowledgement in a timely manner.

              Do you honestly think the police believed they were breaking the law and denying him his rights?

              Whether they did or not hardly matters does it? The SC ruled that they had, the lower court didn't care and ruled as though they didn't.

              Moreover, if it went the other way (say SCOTUS had said "10 minutes is acceptable"), that police could go back and retrap every case they had ever been involved in where they had been denied evidence because it took 5 minutes to search the car, and retry all of those cases?

              Those would be 'settled' cases, and I'm fairly sure double-jeopardy would bar a retrial. This case however was an 'active' case, still being decided, and theoretically supposed to keep in mind the SC ruling, so there was nothing stopping them from altering the ruling to take into account the new info.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                Whatever (profile), 9 Sep 2015 @ 10:22am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Both Rulings Make Perfect Sense.

                I am trying to imagine cops operating in your world. Each time they want to talk to anyone, or make a traffic stop, they would first be required to get a warrant. AFter all, you cannot take a risk that anything that may happen in the normal course of their activities might lead to something more.

                "This case however was an 'active' case, still being decided, and theoretically supposed to keep in mind the SC ruling, so there was nothing stopping them from altering the ruling to take into account the new info."

                yes, and they ruled quite simply that, regardless of the SCOTUS ruling, the police at the time of the search operated in good faith and following all of the laws and all of the rulings from various courts on those laws up to the moment of their action.

                They took the ruling into account. They took the police officer's actions based on what was the law and judgements at that point. They decided the police acted in good faith. End.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • icon
                  That One Guy (profile), 9 Sep 2015 @ 6:10pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Both Rulings Make Perfect Sense.

                  I am trying to imagine cops operating in your world. Each time they want to talk to anyone, or make a traffic stop, they would first be required to get a warrant. AFter all, you cannot take a risk that anything that may happen in the normal course of their activities might lead to something more.

                  Hardly, the change would simply be that evidence would be tossed out if it was ruled to be attained through illegal actions, rather than given a pass because they thought they were within the law at the time.

                  They took the ruling into account. They took the police officer's actions based on what was the law and judgements at that point. They decided the police acted in good faith. End.

                  And again, that means the SC ruling did what for the defendant? Nothing at all. He appealed, he won his appeal, and it did nothing for him thanks to the 'good faith exception', making the appeal absolutely worthless and a waste of time, money and effort.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Wyrm (profile), 8 Sep 2015 @ 10:15am

    Good faith?

    (...) because the police officers who kept him detained past the point of the stop's "objective" were well within the expansive confines of the good faith exception.

    This "good faith" exception reeks of abuse potential. If I understand it well, it means that any case based on LEO evidence that was acquired on "not-quite-legal-but-close" procedures is deemed valid as long as the procedure hasn't been tried and deemed invalid at least once before this case.

    Which means one of two things:
    - either LEO can act in bad faith and pretend to "good faith" as long as their evidence collecting procedure hasn't been deemed invalid in court... and even then they get a free pass to all cases before that decision, including the case in question. So, as long as they make minor changes to the now invalid procedure, they can do it again, pretending that they thought the new procedure was valid.
    - or the law is written in such a way that the very people who are supposed to enforce it can't understand it properly. That is worrying as we who are not supposed to be professionals of the law are the ones who are supposed to "not ignore it", which can only work when the law is easy to understand.
    (Obviously, those two options are not mutually exclusive. One can act on bad faith based on badly written law.)

    The first case is easy to fix: remove "good faith exception". You might not want to sanction LEO acting on good faith, but you can't allow wrongly collected evidence either. This breaks the link of trust (which already shows signs of distrust) in the whole legal procedure. When the Supreme Court itself rejects a procedure based on constitutional grounds, how can the evidence be used in a trial?

    The second case is way more difficult to fix as it means rewriting the whole code of Law to make it clear and easy to understand to anyone, at the very least removing any uncertainty there could be for anyone whose job is to work with the law... and preferably for anyone, period.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    None Given, 8 Sep 2015 @ 10:16am

    Help my memory here. Have we seen a similar "good faith" exemption right after a Supreme Court ruling recently?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2015 @ 11:35am

    Contradiction wins.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Justme, 8 Sep 2015 @ 2:13pm

    Can i get a little faith. .

    But your honor, the man who sold me the little baggie of white powder assured me that it was a legal substance. So as i was acting in good faith based on the information i had available to me at the time, i am certainly not guilty and should have never been arrested!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Whatever (profile), 8 Sep 2015 @ 9:53pm

      Re: Can i get a little faith. .

      So why were you paying insane amounts of money for a bag of legal white powder? Your intent wasn't to buy legal white powder, was it?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 15 Sep 2015 @ 1:15am

        Re: Re: Can i get a little faith. .

        Then you get to have good faith that the person wanted to buy a little white powder. Deal with it.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Nonya, 8 Sep 2015 @ 3:31pm

    Dumb cops

    Isn't this why the police get shot in the first place. I knew a former cop that told me why he quit. He got tired of getting shot at. Sad these cops don't know thy are causing there own problems. For every action there is a equal reaction. If it is suppressed it will get worse. This is what i DON'T WANT. But cops are too stupid to see that they help the public to riot. Its like the cops want anarchy, which i DONT WANT.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2015 @ 5:20pm

    The magistrate judge, the district court, and this court all determined that the seven- or eight-minute delay in this case constituted a de minimis intrusion on Rodriguez’s personal liberty and that Rodriguez’s seizure was lawful under our then binding precedent. Under Davis, therefore, the exclusionary rule does not apply because the circumstances of Rodriguez’s seizure fell squarely within our case law and the search was conducted in objectively reasonable reliance on our precedent.

    Because the Police don't understand the Constitution and they're pretty much blockheads they have the right to be ignorant in all they do. And the Courts just go along with it because "Fuck You Denny".
    that's how i read it!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2015 @ 10:17pm

    The Appeals Court ruling reeks of spite.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    FRANK FOOTER, 8 Nov 2019 @ 4:50pm

    DENNYS RODRIGUEZ

    ESPECIALLY OUR HIGH COURT JUDGES SHOULD NOT BE MAKING JUDICIAL DECISIONS AND RULINGS BASED ON EXISTING FLAWED PRECIDENT BUT RATHER ON THE CONSTITUTIONALITY OF THE CASE !!! SOMETHING DEFINITELY WENT WRONG HERE !!! THE CASE WAS SENT BACK TO THE LOWER COURT WITH THE SCOTUS RULING TO BE KEPT IN MIND WHILE RE-EXAMINING THE CASE AND NOT BY IGNORING THE SCOTUS RULING !!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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