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Fourth amendment: Searches and seizures - Research Paper Example

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Fourth Amendment: Searchers and Seizures Professor The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects the privacy interest of citizens from unlawful governmental intrusion or unreasonable search and seize by the government…
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Fourth amendment: Searches and seizures
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Download file to see previous pages The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution states, The right of the people to secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated , and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.1 This provision that protects people from unreasonable searches and seizures goes back far into English history. In 1604, in the famous Semayne's Case, the Judge, Sir Edward Coke, first identified this right. He ruled that, "The house of every one is to him as his castle and fortress, as well for his defence against injury and violence as for his repose." In this case, it was determined that subjects of the kingdom had the right to be protected from searches and seizures that were unlawfully conducted, even if they were conducted by the King's representatives. The case also recognized that lawfully conducted searches and seizures were acceptable. This case established a standard that has remained a part of English law ever since.2 The provisions clearly correlate to the constitutional guarantee that no person shall be deprived of life, rights and properties without due process of law. The right of the person to be protected from search and seizure is paramount and is a fundamental right of every citizen of the country except when there is probable cause that will compel the judiciary, upon oath of affirmation that something should be searched or be seized from a determinate place or from the identified person. There is probably cause when facts and circumstances warrant that a reasonable man perceived that an act is committed and the means for prosecuting it is lawful, just and proper.3 Thus, the existence of facts and circumstances would invite such reasonable belief, acting on the same with full knowledge of the prosecutor that a person being charged as guilty of a crime for which he was being subjected for prosecution.4 Such presupposed a reliable and competent proof that the person has committed specific acts or has done specific omissions which violate the statutes of criminal laws.5 Probable does not connote absolute certainty on the basis of the facts alleged based in the stipulations of the depositions however, it regarded the reasonableness on the conduct of search warrant on the bases of offense allegedly committed which provide justification of the issuance of search warrant.6 Such probable cause is however strengthened when there is prima facie evidence of a commission of a criminal offense, thus, violating rules and statutes and as such, prescribes for preliminary investigation.7 The Supreme Court likewise explicated that probable cause exists when the facts and circumstances within the police officer's knowledge provide a reasonably trustworthy basis for a man of reasonable caution to believe that a criminal offense has been committed or is about to take place.8 Probable cause can be established by statements made by reliable police informants. There is a prong test to validate the reliability behind these efforts of forming probable cause. However, probable cause will not lie where the only evidence of criminal activity is an officer's affirmation of suspicion or belief. 9 The court ruled that, The task of the issuing magistrate is simply to make a practical, common-sense decision whether, given all the circumstances set forth ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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