Thursday, June 27, 2019

7th Circuit Makes Fruit of the Poisonous Tree Admissible in Court

Source: Studio News Network

The seventh court of appeals has passed down a ruling that, if upheld, would wipe out what little remains of our 4th amendment right against warrantless searches of our homes. Acting on the information provided by one informant, Indianapolis DEA agents set up a sting operation and raided the home of suspected meth dealer Paul Huskisson before applying for a warrant. Huskisson was unknown to the DEA before this information was divulged. The conviction was appealed on grounds that law enforcement had unlawfully searched his home and that the evidence obtained was thus inadmissible in court (i.e. fruit of the poisonous tree). While the 7th circuit recognized that the search was unlawful, they nevertheless held that the evidence obtained from the unlawful search was admissible because DEA agents had other evidence, provided by the informant, that met the standard for probable cause and could have obtained a search warrant in hindsight. In an age where privacy and property rights have all but vanished, an atrocious ruling like this may be the final nail in the coffin of our 4th amendment rights. Under such a ruling anyone could be searched and have their property seized on mere hearsay of one witness. Such a ruling would, for instance, provide legal justification for so called ‘red flag’ laws that allow police to stripe legal gun owners of their 2nd amendment right solely on the accusations and court petition of another person.

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