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Thread: The Heien Effect. Sliding down the slippery slope on an officers reasonable error.

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    The Heien Effect. Sliding down the slippery slope on an officers reasonable error.

    “Requiring an officer to be more than reasonable, mandating that he be perfect, would impose a greater burden than that required under the Fourth Amendment,” Justice Paul Newby wrote for the court. In her dissenting opinion, [NC] state Supreme Court Justice Robin Hudson projected what might follow from a ruling condoning an officer’s subjective interpretation of the law:
    There are many problems with the majority’s decision—it introduces subjectivity into what was previously a well-settled objective inquiry and creates an interpretive role regarding state statutes for police officers and police departments. The danger in adopting a new constitutional rule here is that this particular case seems so innocuous: Of course it is reasonable that an officer would pull over a vehicle for a malfunctioning brake light. But this new constitutional rule will also apply in the next case, when the officer acts based on a misreading of a less innocuous statute, or an incorrect memo or training program from the police department, or his or her previous law enforcement experience in a different state, or his or her belief in a nonexistent law.[emphasis in the original] http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2015/....Co4miuoj.dpuf
    Nonetheless, several months later the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the ruling by the [NC] state Supreme Court.

    How the [US] Supreme Court Made It Legal for Cops to Pull You Over for Just About Anything -- Even hanging an air freshener.
    In February, in a case involving a traffic stop over a dangling parking pass, D. Arthur Kelsey, then a judge on Virginia’s Court of Criminal Appeals, wrote: “So dense is the modern web of motor vehicle regulations that every motorist is likely to get caught in it every time he drives to the grocery store.” And now, he wrote, “reasonable suspicion justifying the seizure of citizens will be found even if police officers are mistaken concerning the law as long as their testimony includes magic words such as ‘I thought . . . I believed . . . I mistakenly believed . . . I suspected . . . I mistakenly suspected . . .’ or as in this case, the officer just doesn't really know one way or the other.” https://www.themarshallproject.org/2...m=ignorantcops
    H/T FourthAmendment.com
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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    In other words "liberty sucks, and so does the restrictions upon us".
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

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    Accomplished Advocate color of law's Avatar
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    The article is misleading. The court in Heien does not break new ground.

    An officer gets a pass on a reasonable misunderstanding of the law that vague. The has been saying this for years. The officer does not get a pass on an unambiguous law.

    This is confirmed in Northrup v. CITY OF TOLEDO POLICE DEPARTMENT, Court of Appeals, 6th Circuit 2015, affirmed in part and reversed in part.
    http://www.ca6.uscourts.gov/opinions...5a0092p-06.pdf
    If it is appropriate to presume that citizens know the parameters of the criminal laws, it is surely appropriate to expect the same of law enforcement officers—at least with regard to unambiguous statutes. Heien v. North Carolina, 135 S. Ct. 530, 540 (2014).
    Here is the District Court opinion: https://s3.amazonaws.com/pacer-docum...2014-09-30.pdf

    Northrup v. CITY OF TOLEDO POLICE DEPARTMENT, Court of Appeals, 6th Circuit 2015 is worth the read.

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    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by color of law View Post
    The article is misleading. The court in Heien does not break new ground.

    An officer gets a pass on a reasonable misunderstanding of the law that vague. The has been saying this for years. The officer does not get a pass on an unambiguous law.

    This is confirmed in Northrup v. CITY OF TOLEDO POLICE DEPARTMENT, Court of Appeals, 6th Circuit 2015, affirmed in part and reversed in part.
    http://www.ca6.uscourts.gov/opinions...5a0092p-06.pdf

    Here is the District Court opinion: https://s3.amazonaws.com/pacer-docum...2014-09-30.pdf

    Northrup v. CITY OF TOLEDO POLICE DEPARTMENT, Court of Appeals, 6th Circuit 2015 is worth the read.
    Focus not on the case(s) but focus on the cop shop's vigorous defense of vague laws to not limit their acts. If cops don't know they should not act. Yet, they act anyway...see the vigorous defense cited above.
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

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    Accomplished Advocate color of law's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    Focus not on the case(s) but focus on the cop shop's vigorous defense of vague laws to not limit their acts. If cops don't know they should not act. Yet, they act anyway...see the vigorous defense cited above.
    The vigorous defence did not work.

    Lets go back to the beginning. Stop electing attorney lawmakers and maybe we won't see vague laws written just so the courts can legislate the meaning they want from the bench.

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