Author Topic: Presumption of innocence  (Read 2925 times)

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Offline Stadler

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Re: Presumption of innocence
« Reply #35 on: July 13, 2014, 10:09:40 AM »
I have a constitutionally afforded presumption of innocence. Furthermore, as I pointed out, their responsibility is to me, not the other way around.

Well, that's fair, and your distinctions in terms of cop safety are relevant (I just deleted them for space).   I don't necessarily think we are in absolutel disagreement.   I think acting with caution, as if the person in front of you might shoot you in the face, (and what I am talking about) is not the same thing as acting like an asshole, as if the person in front of you just DID try to shoot you in the face, (which is I think more like the behavior you are talking about) are not the same thing.  I am with you, in that I have little sympathy for cops that act as thugs and brutes.  They still have to treat people with respect, dignity, and due process.    I think I am simply responding in order to limit the painting with the broad brush. 


As usual your logic is solid. However, within the full context of that remark it's not taking into account an important detail. When Johnny reads your license plate he's not investigation you of a specific crime. He's checking to see if you might be guilty of anything and everything that his DB can report (often times erroneously). Correct me if I'm wrong, but hasn't the 4th amendment been repeatedly and consistently interpreted to preclude fishing expeditions? You said it yourself: If there is a reasonable reason for the investigation, then it should happen. Driving down the street is not and should not be a reasonable reason for investigation.

And welcome aboard.  :tup

Thank you.

And that is a good point; the problem is that it is a question that, to my knowledge, has not been asked.    Is there an expectation of privacy when talking about a license plate, which by design and intention is supposed to be public information?   In other words, there are three recognized exceptions to the Fourth Amendment search and seizure restrictions that may apply here:  consent (do we, when we accept the registration on our car, consent to searches of the information regarding that registration?), the plain view exception (see above) and the automobile exception (generally referring to the contents of the vehicle, but wouldn't that include information that is already readily available from the license plate?).

All these details really come down to the one question, though:  what is suspicion?  I don't know where the exact line is, but I do think it unreasonable to expect that we have to wait for explicit proof of some discernable wrong-doing before we can investigate someone.  There will always be zealots in every profession, and we should do what we can to remove them from being police officers.

Offline El Barto

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Re: Presumption of innocence
« Reply #36 on: July 13, 2014, 11:57:32 AM »
I have a constitutionally afforded presumption of innocence. Furthermore, as I pointed out, their responsibility is to me, not the other way around.

Well, that's fair, and your distinctions in terms of cop safety are relevant (I just deleted them for space).   I don't necessarily think we are in absolutel disagreement.   I think acting with caution, as if the person in front of you might shoot you in the face, (and what I am talking about) is not the same thing as acting like an asshole, as if the person in front of you just DID try to shoot you in the face, (which is I think more like the behavior you are talking about) are not the same thing.  I am with you, in that I have little sympathy for cops that act as thugs and brutes.  They still have to treat people with respect, dignity, and due process.    I think I am simply responding in order to limit the painting with the broad brush. 
Certainly a valid distinction, but my concern is that Johnny is moving forward with an even broader brush. There are no common sense warrant services anymore. Following up on petty drug crimes now involves blowing up a front door at 0200 and putting entire families on the ground with AR15s at their temples. If nothing else, the continued militarization of LEA is actually going to result in blowback that undermines the safety that they've been achieving over the last 60 years.


Quote
And that is a good point; the problem is that it is a question that, to my knowledge, has not been asked.    Is there an expectation of privacy when talking about a license plate, which by design and intention is supposed to be public information?   In other words, there are three recognized exceptions to the Fourth Amendment search and seizure restrictions that may apply here:  consent (do we, when we accept the registration on our car, consent to searches of the information regarding that registration?), the plain view exception (see above) and the automobile exception (generally referring to the contents of the vehicle, but wouldn't that include information that is already readily available from the license plate?).

All these details really come down to the one question, though:  what is suspicion?  I don't know where the exact line is, but I do think it unreasonable to expect that we have to wait for explicit proof of some discernable wrong-doing before we can investigate someone.  There will always be zealots in every profession, and we should do what we can to remove them from being police officers.
I know that the courts have afforded Johnny the right to run your plate when sitting a light or driving down the street. I suspect that covers your expectation of privacy question with regards to plates. However, many years ago a SCOTUS ruling made mention of a beneficial inconvenience. This is exactly the sort of situation where that should come into play. If Johnny has to pick one or two plates to check at a light, he'll be a bit more thoughtful about which he chooses, and he probably wouldn't bother while doing 85 down the interstate. This gives most people a pass.  However, when it's to the point that your plate is searched every mile by cop or camera, then you've put forth an enormous dragnet that's in effect looking for everybody and everything. There's also the problem with the aggregation of all of this plate data. These are things that need to be considered. It appears that the current frontline on that debate is centered on privacy, so that's where we are.

And I take it you're not of the sort that appreciates privacy for privacy's sake.
Argument, the presentation of reasonable views, never makes headway against conviction, and conviction takes no part in argument because it knows.
E.F. Benson

Offline Stadler

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Re: Presumption of innocence
« Reply #37 on: July 14, 2014, 01:13:58 PM »

And I take it you're not of the sort that appreciates privacy for privacy's sake.

I honestly don't know how to answer that, primarily because I don't think there is "one answer".  I could give a shit how many times or on what occasion the police or municipalities (in Philly, the City does it as well as the police) check my license plate.  Having said that, if I in good faith give my name and address to Amazon to buy their products, I do not believe that should FORCE me to accept that they can resell that information to any Tom, Dick and Douchebag to do with what they will.