Sheneta R. Ervin Constitutional Law II Dr. Jeffery Swain Florida Memorial University Drones In America And How They Infringe On The Fourth Amendment and Due Process Of The Law Abstract The purpose of this research paper is to show how unmanned aerial vehicles, better known as UAV’s or drones infringe on the Fourth Amendment and Due Process of the law. The Fourth Amendment states; ” the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable search and seizures shall not be violated and no warrants shall issue but upon probable cause. Drones are highly advanced in surveillance and can monitor 65 enemies of the state simultaneously. So how can citizens feel they have the implicit …show more content…
The Fourth Amendment provides protection against illegal policing by, barring searches that are “unreasonable” and without the justification of “probable cause.” In relativity, once individuals’ rights have been violated and the evidence is obtained illegally, and trialed at court, The Exclusionary Rule can be applied to assist a Defendant in a criminal case as a remedy for illegal searches that violate the rights set forth in the Fourth Amendment. When applicable, the rule dictates that the evidence illegally obtained must be excluded as evidence under the Fourth Amendment. One important corollary to the Exclusionary Rule is the “fruit of the poisonous tree” doctrine. This rule holds that, in addition to the material uncovered during the illegal search being in admissible, any evidence that is later gathered as an indirect result of the illegal search will also be excluded (Wong,1963). While the Exclusionary Rule sounds gratifying, assuring that evidence obtained illegally won’t be submitted it also seems to be flawed. Starting with the 2 exceptions of the “fruit of the poisonous tree” doctrine: 1.) If the police had an independent source of knowledge of the evidence aside from the fruits of the illegal search, then the doctrine will not exclude the discovered evidence. 2.) If discovery of the evidence was "inevitable", the
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The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution states, “The right of the people to be 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”. It consists of two clauses, the reasonableness clause which focuses on the reasonableness of a search and seizure and the warrant clause which limits the scope of a search. There are many views on how the Fourth Amendment should be interpreted, especially by today’s standards. The world has evolved significantly since the implementation of the Bill of Rights. As it evolved, time brought about numerous cases on the applicability of the Fourth Amendment. When plaintiffs are not satisfied with the decision of lower courts, they can
The exclusionary rule provides extra protections for defendants; however, certain circumstances exist allowing the introduction of gathered evidence that violates the defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights. These exceptions include good faith errors, independent sources, inevitable discovery, and the purged taint exception. The good faith exception allows the introduction of evidence collected by law enforcement that on review violates the defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights. A defective search warrant may taint the collected evidence; however, law enforcement officers acting under good faith a search warrant is valid may present the tainted evidence at trial because the initial error lies with the judge approving the probable cause for the warrant (Del Carmen, 2010). The independent source exception allows the introduction of evidence obtained via the direct result of an illegal search or seizure if the connection between the illegal police conduct and the seizure of the evidence dissipates the taint of illegality. If the police possess an independent source used to obtain entry on a search and discover contraband based on the source in an illegal manner, then the seizure of the evidence is admissible regardless of the illegal entry or search (Del Carmen, 2010). The inevitable discovery doctrine allows the introduction of evidence of a defendant’s guilt that is inadmissible under the exclusionary rule. The doctrine states
This happens when initial evidence is found without a valid warrant. On the other hand, the fruit of the poisonous tree would be once illegal evidenced is seized, additional information is collected based on the original evidenced collected. The fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine is the aftermath of not catching the mistake of the investigating officers. To better understand the two, an example would be a cellphone being seized and search. The exclusionary rule would apply to this. However, if there are messages that lead to a drug bust or trafficking then this would be the fruit of the illegally seized cellphone. At the end of the day, all evidence would be inadmissible in court.
As stated earlier, the exclusionary rule is where the people of the law confiscate evidence illegally from an individual’s personal property, including home, vehicle, and technological devices; meaning it will not hold proof in a criminal trial. The rule was created to stop people who “thought” they were above the law. The exclusionary rule came into play with Weeks vs. U.S. case.
In criminal justice the exclusionary rule prohibits the use of illegally seized evidence or evidence that violates the offenders rights under the fourth, fifth, or sixth amendment. There are three exceptions under the exclusionary rule, “fruit of the poisoned tree”, inevitable discovery exception, and the good faith exception. These three exceptions each allow evidence that can be considered illegally obtained to be admissible in a court of law, given it fits in certain constraints. “Fruit of the poisoned tree” is a term for any verbal or physical evidence obtained by using illegally obtained evidence.
This amendment was created and enforced to disallow any unreasonable or illegal search and seizures. It also calls for official warrants, and any warrant granted to be judicially authorized and reinforced by probable cause. Any evidence brought to Federal and State court that is obtained illegally and that violates the Fourth Amendment should be omitted at the time of trial.
The exclusionary rule has several exceptions that enable the evidence to be used in court, even though the evidence was obtained by an illegal, unreasonable search. Among these exceptions are the Inevitable Discovery Doctrine, Valid Independent Source, Harmless Error, and the Good Faith Exception.
This paper is intended to discuss the current state of Fourth Amendment law and evaluate the legality of State and Local governments use of drones as an extension of the state government?s police powers. The paper will proceed first by examining the current state of Fourth Amendment jurisprudence with particular attention paid to how courts have historically reconciled Fourth Amendment rights with State Government?s use of emerging technology to advance the state?s policing powers. Next, the author will define ?drones? and discuss the current capabilities of military and commercially available drones. To conclude, the author will analysis the current state of the Fourth Amendment and how courts have evaluated emerging technologies effect on the Fourth Amendment, together with the capabilities of modern drones, to determine the legality of State Governments usage of drones as a part of their police powers.
Furthermore, if evidence falls within the guidelines of the Exclusionary Rule and the law enforcement gained this additional evidence based off of the unreasonable search or seizure may be considered the “fruit of the poisonous tree.”
The Fourth Amendment stops the government from conducting unreasonable search and seizures. Law enforcement can conduct a search if they have probable cause without the courts approval. There are times when the law enforcement must go to the courts to get a search warrant before the can search and seize.
There is an ongoing debate over local law enforcement’s ability to use domestic drones to aid in operations. Domestic drones or UAVs , Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, have the potential to carry out many tasks like surveillance or riot control. Imagine a scenario where there is a possible bomb threat. A drone could be used for the good to investigate the area instead of using law enforcement officer whose lives could potentially be in danger. On the other hand there is the issue of armed drones that could lead to the abuse of power.
Quadcopters or also known as aerial drones has quickly becoming one of the most popular trends in video production or just as a recreational hobby. For videographers, quadcopters offers the ability to take incredible shots that could take days of planning and higher cost with a helicopter as done before drones. In response to the growing popularity, many people has concerns about the ability to abuse this device for privacy violation, and terrorism. Over the past 2 years there has been numerous news, articles, and blogs headlines expressing the unconformity of the US laws due to the negative potential of civil flight drones. I consider there is sufficient laws and regulations to completely cover the unacceptable use of aerial aircrafts like in the two of the amendments from the Bill of Rights, aircraft guideline modernization and the Patriot Act.
Since drones have been made a public and easy toy to get your hands on there have been many photographers that have adopted drones into their everyday gear for picture taking. All of the people using the drones in a negative way, invading people’s privacy, have caused many photographers and everyday drone users many inconveniences. The battle is now upon states and towns to regulate their use in their communities. “While people could fly their drones in their back yard, they could be subject to serious fines if the device flies over to their neighbor's yard or if it uses a camera to monitor his or her activities. In Louisiana, for example, it's illegal to use a drone to monitor a person or property without consent. Offenders face a fine of up to $500 and six months in jail.” Many people are fighting their cities and states for freedom and not so many restrictions with drones. Due to all of the poor decisions made by some people there are cites such as New York already looking for a complete ban on the use of drones, and it even prohibits law enforcement from using
Drones and other flying devices may become the future innovation and what will determine how well crops are growing among other things. But they fail to realize the importance of privacy and the invasion such devices could cause. According to the article “Do Domestic Drones Violate the Right to Privacy,” states that the “the domestic use of drones is raising concerns about privacy as well as potential Fourth Amendment violations.” If drones are flying overhead watching your every moment, that violates your right of freedom as you are not being allowed to do what you want without being tracked down every second. “The thought of government drones buzzing overhead and constantly monitoring the activities of law-abiding citizens runs contrary to the notion of what it means to live in a free society,” Charles Grassley of Iowa states. To remain free, one must be allowed to see without being
The looming prospect of expanded use of unmanned aerial vehicles, colloquially known as drones has raised understandable concerns for lawmakers. Those concerns have led some to call for legislation mandating that nearly all uses of drones be prohibited unless the government has first obtained a warrant. Privacy advocates have mounted a lobbying campaign that has succeeded in convincing various countries to enact laws regulating the use of drones by law enforcement and requiring a warrant before the government may use a drone. The campaigns mounted by privacy advocates oftentimes make a compelling case about the threat of pervasive surveillance, but the legislation is rarely tailored in such a way to prevent