Dubious search warrants

This article describes a pattern of DC police searches of residences that turned out to be mistaken addresses. The searches were executed with warrants based on flimsy evidence — an often-flawed home address of a subject arrested for a minor drug crime a few days earlier and the investigator’s “training and experience” that additional evidence or contraband could be found where the subject lives.

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5 Responses to “Dubious search warrants”

  1. Ashley Says:

    This isn’t dispositive, but weren’t all these warrants signed by a judge? If a cop is playing fast and loose with the probable cause requirement, why would a judge approve the warrant?

  2. Gary Cordner Says:

    I think it’s called assembly-line justice. No excuse, but I think that’s sometimes what it evolves into in some places.

  3. Ashley Says:

    Then let me play devil’s advocate for a moment.
    I’m not defending sloppy police work, but who has the greater responsibility? Isn’t the “neutral and detached magistrate” supposed to serve as a check on the “zealous officers…engaged in the often competitive enterprise of ferreting out crime?”

  4. Gary Cordner Says:

    Yes they are supposed to. But in the meantime, one might argue that police can (should) occupy the higher moral & legal ground. And as I recall, opinion polls show that the public has more confidence in police than judges anyway.

  5. Gunther Says:

    I have to agree with Ashley about a judge being a check on zealous officers; however, if that happen, judges will not be getting any kind of political/financial support from the police when it comes to election time, not to mention the cops know all about the dirty little secrets that judges did when they were district attorneys and they could expose that stuff during election time.

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