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Interpretations Of The Fourth Amendment Essay

1148 words - 5 pages

Our government was founded many years ago on a very important document called the Constitution. Since then, there have been several changes made to this important document called amendments. One of the most important amendments in the Constitution is the fourth amendment, which states the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures. This right shall not be violated, and no warrants shall be issued without probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things at which to be seized (Supreme Court Collection). One US Supreme Court case, Florida vs. Bostick deals directly with this particularly amendment and our rights as United States citizens.The fourth amendment is important because everyone deserves the right to there privacy. In the case of Florida vs. Bostick, Bosticks' right to privacy was definitely questioned and somewhat violated. Two officers boarded the bus in which Bostick was a passenger, and without probable cause questioned and requested Bosticks' consent to search his luggage for drugs, after advising him of his right to refuse the search. Bostick then proceeded and gave the officers permission to search his luggage. After a through search of Bostick's luggage the officers found cocaine and arrested Bostick on drug trafficking charges. After being charged with drug trafficking, Bosticks' lawyers filed a motion that the cocaine had been seized in violation of his fourth amendment rights, this motion was soon denied by the trial court of Florida. (Find Law for Legal Professionals Home Page 2001).When the Florida trial court denied his motion, Bosticks' lawyers almost immediately filed with the Florida Court of Appeals, they then affirmed the decision, but certified the question of the forth amendment rights to the State Supreme Court. The State Supreme Court found that a reasonable passenger would not have felt free to leave the bus to avoid being questioned by the police. In effect the State Supreme Court adopted a per se rule that the Boward county Sheriff's Department practice of "working the buses" is unconstitutional (Find Law for Legal Professionals Home Page 2001). On the other hand the courts have established that law enforcement officers may approach individuals at random in airport lobbies, and other public places to ask them questions and check their luggage if needed. After the questions were raised for the bus search and seizure issues, the whole question of search and seizure were disputed on the grounds of fourth amendment rights in police tactics. The question of fourth amendment rights in Bosticks' case raised questions in all areas of police tactics and also the accountability and constitutionality of all police tactics (Supreme Court Collection).In a future case a similar account of search and seizure was encountered. A twenty-three year old male, Larry Sparks...

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