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Carlos:

Probable cause to arrest an individual need to be established through factual evidence (When is an Arrest a Legal Arrest?) and not just an assumption of a crime committed by the individual in questioning. So, this means that the arresting officer needs to either observe specific patters, have information from witnesses and or victims. The police officer may even be able to use the knowledge they have gained from previous arrest where they can recognize gang signs or criminal activities. After an officer has probable cause he or she will then submit an affidavit to a judge to grant an arrest or search warrant. The judge will look to see if the police officer has a good tract record on knowledge of a crime, if victims or witnessed are established or even just information given that can be verified my police of a crime. So, while it seems like there needs to be a lot met to secure warrant if an officer has good intel on crime it could be just that simple.

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The exclusionary rule is a law that prohibits evidence to be used in a criminal trial if it was obtained illegally and is in violation of a person’s forth amendment (The Fourth Amendment and the ‘Exclusionary Rule). While this rule is here to essentially protect the people it also assures law enforcement is doing things correctly for all valuable evidence can be used. However, there are a few exceptions to the exclusionary rule and one of the main exceptions is the good faith exception. “This applies to officers who had a reasonable, good-faith belief that they were acting according to legal authority, such as by relying on a search warrant that is later found to have been legally defective” (Shein, 2017). Another common exception is the independent source doctrine, often evidence is discovered during an illegal search but the same evidence is also found later legally. So, in short, the evidence was going to be discovered regardless.

A stop and frisk is when you are temporary stopped and patted down by law enforcement over your clothing to see if you are carrying a weapon and an arrest is when you are actually taken down to a station and booked for a crime. However, a stop and frisk can turn into an arrest if a police officer finds evidence. But if nothing is found you just simply walk away. For a stop and frisk to be considered legal, the police officer must have a reasonable suspicion like we touched bases above that a crime has been or will be committed. The police officer also needs to have a great suspicion that the person being stopped has a dangerous weapon. So, like stated above about reasonable cause, they could have seen them go into a store that sells weapons, or have a witness tell them they are carrying one.

References

Shein, M. (2017, February 22). The Exclusionary Rule Exceptions. Retrieved from https://federalcriminallawcenter.com/2017/02/exclu…

The Fourth Amendment and the ‘Exclusionary Rule. (n.d.). Retrieved from FindLaw: https://criminal.findlaw.com/criminal-rights/the-f…

When is an Arrest a Legal Arrest? (n.d.). Retrieved from FindLaw: https://criminal.findlaw.com/criminal-rights/when-…

Dario:

Good Evening Professor and classmates,

The authors of the U.S. Constitution were on a mission to stop past abuses committed by British Troops on American citizens. In doing so, they ensured to include articles in the U.S. Constitution that prohibited authorities from entering a private dwelling without permission from the owner or without probable cause in the execution of a lawful warrant. Probable cause was required for authorities to obtain a warrant. Similarly, a police officer must have probable cause to arrest an individual. An arrest cannot be pursued on mere intuition. Probable cause is more than mere suspicion. To obtain a warrant, a police office would need to present to a judge enough information that points to the suspect in question; however, that information does not need to say that the suspect is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt (Probable Cause, n.d.).

Exclusionary rule states that any illegal search, seizures, arrest, and confessions that violates the U.S. Constitution cannot be considered as evidence. However, there are exceptions to certain evidence discovered by authorities that can be used in court, regardless if a search warrant or probable cause was obtained. The exceptions are Good Faith exception, which means if an officer under good faith conducting a lawful search or warrant discovers illegal items in a person, car, or building, that illegal items can be used as evidence to convict a person. Independent Source Doctrine states that evidence initially discovered during an unlawful search can be used as evidence if later that evidence is obtained independently through activities untainted by the illegal search. Inevitable Discovery Doctrine is similar to Independent Source Doctrine in that an that evidence obtained in an unlawful search had the potential to be discovered anyway.

In the line of duty an officer has the mandate to stop question residents if he suspects that a crime is imminent. In doing so, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Terry V. Ohio (n.d.) that a police officer is right in stopping residents and frisking them if suspect that a crime has been, is, or is about to be committed. Also, the police officer must suspect that the suspect is carrying a dangerous weapon for the stop and frisk to be legal. On the other hand, an arrest is taking custody of a suspect where the suspect is not free to leave. The requirements for an officer to conduct a “stop and frisk” is reasonable suspicion that a suspect is armed and dangerous.

Dario

References

Probable Cause. (n.d.). Retrieved Jan 14, 2020, from Cornell Law School: https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/probable_cause

Terry v. Ohio. (n.d.). Oyez. Retrieved January 14, 2020, from https://www.oyez.org/cases/1967/67

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Brandon:

he most popular term amongst law enforcement and civilians is probable cause. Probable cause is the grounds the courts and law enforcement use to arrest a person suspected of a crime. If there is no probable cause then there should be no arrest or citation to bring the individual to the magistrate. There are four elements for search warrant laid out by the Supreme Court. First is the warrant must be filled in good faith by a certified police officer. Second, the warrant/arrest must be filed on reliable information setting the grounds for probable cause to search under the Fourth Amendment. Third, the warrant can only be issued by a magistrate/judge who is a neutral person in the criminal justice system. Last, the warrant has to be very specific explaining what is to be searched, where and the items law enforcement will be searching and confiscating for evidence.

The exclusionary rule protects citizens from the evidence being obtained illegally and unconstitutionally from law enforcement or other government officials who have police powers federally and local. An officer cannot obtain evidence without a warrant for the purpose of making an arrest and using it in court contrary to the exceptions to the exclusionary rule. If the evidence is obtained without just a warrant it will be inadmissible in court against the accused which will result in a non-conviction even if the evidence directs to guilt.

There are a few exceptions to the exclusionary rule. Here are the primary exceptions pertaining to the rule. The Good Faith Exception which states a police officer is operating in good faith that the warrant is believed to be valid to be admitted in conviction to the courts. Attenuation Doctrine is an exception granting evidence illegally confiscated to be admitted in court if there is a connection between the evidence and the illegal means which it was obtained is very remote (Legal Dictionary 2016). Independent Source Doctrine is another exception where the “illegal obtaining of evidence is to be admitted to the court if the evidence was later obtained by an independent person through legal means”. Last is Inevitable Discovery Rule which is the last exception “permitting improperly obtained evidence to admit when it is apparent that the evidence would have eventually be discovered through legal means (Legal Dictionary 2016).

Stop and frisk is a term police officers and the courts use for officer safety. A police officer can stop and frisk a person if they are suspicious of the sole purpose of looking for a weapon the person may have. This is not to be confused with a search. The stop and frisk process is only granted to the outer garments of a person’s clothes in revealing a weapon that could cause serious bodily harm or death to the officer. If the officer pats down the outer layer of clothes and what he/she believes to be the shape of a firearm or a knife they can confiscate it until the officer is ready to release the person from detainment. Police are permitted to then go into the layer and only layer of clothing where they believe the firearm or knife is located from their pat down to retrieve the weapon.

An arrest by police is when they have already established probable cause of the crime and now can search the person who was arrested for any weapons, contraband or narcotics. The stop and frisk is the preliminary stage of an arrest if it goes to an arrest. Some people may be stopped and frisked but not arrested without violating the Fourth Amendment. The officer can justify his//her actions for a stop and frisk and no arrest based on officer safety. “I was suspicious of the person your honor and wanted to ensure there were no weapons while I conducted my investigation”.

Reference

Team, Content. “Exclusionary Rule – Definition, Process, Examples and Cases.” Legal Dictionary, 30 June 2016, https://legaldictionary.net/exclusionary-rule/.

Part 2:

Dario:

Good Evening Professor and Classmates,

Police officers who responded to the scene did have probable cause to arrest Mr. Mayo. Probable cause to arrest Mr. Mayo was fulfilled when Mr. Mayo admitted that he shot Mr. Scowen. Whether Mr. Mayo was guilty or not of killing Mr. Scowen, that was of no concern to the police officers who affected the arrest. There was enough evidence, including Mr. Mayo’s own admission that he had committed homicide under the books. Whether he was guilty or not, that was up to the courts to decide, not the police officers.

Once under arrest, Mr. Mayo was entitled to Constitutional rights which in this case, I believe those rights were violated. Mr. Mayo was not read his Miranda Rights which is the first step in the due process for any suspect that enters the criminal justice system of the United States.

Police were required to read Mr. Mayo his Miranda rights because he was under the custody of the state. Under custody, police officers could potentially ask incriminating questions that Mr. Mayo could answer that could most likely be used against him in a criminal trial (Miranda Warnings and Police Questioning, n.d.)

Dario

References

Miranda Warnings and Police Questioning. (n.d.). Retrieved Jan 14, 2020, from Findlaw.com: https://criminal.findlaw.com/criminal-rights/miran…

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Taelor:

Probable cause was evident for law enforcement personnel to arrest Mayo due to a weapon being present. The weapon was also the firearm that was used to kill the victim. Law enforcement failed by not reading Mayo his rights upon arresting him. Mayo’s constitutional rights were violated due to the Miranda rights not being read to him. Miranda warnings are procedural safeguards for custodial interrogation that protect the interests of both the prosecution and the suspects (Lieser, Van Der Voort & Spaulding, 2019). When Miranda rights are not read it gives the alleged suspect the privilege to not talk about the situation that occurred. Any charges in relation to this suspect being charged with murder can be dismissed. Miranda failure is a mistake that many officers make and are held accountable for because this leads to an overturn in the result of a crime that took place. Police must read Miranda rights upon arrests so they can be able to use anything that is said during the duration of the arrest as evidence towards the guilt of the suspect. Being that Mayo was not read his Miranda rights, anything he said can not be used as evidence in regard to his trial. When officers fail to read Miranda rights, they often result in being remorseful.

References

Lieser, A., Van Der Voort, D., & Spaulding, T. (2019). You have the right to remain silent: The ability of adolescents with developmental language disorder to understand their legal rights. Journal of Communication Disorders, 82, 105920. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcomdis.2019.105920

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Cole:

Did the police have probable cause to arrest Mayo?

The legal standard for probable cause to arrest exists when there are facts and circumstances sufficient to stand for themselves which will lead an officer to believe a crime has been committed by a specific person. Probable cause to search will arise when there are reasonable grounds to believe specific items are located on a specific property and they are evidence of a crime (Bandiero, 2019). In this scenario, Scott Mayo (bartender) and Basil Scowen (patron) got into an argument about $1500. During the argument, Scowen picked up a beer bottle threateningly. Mayo claims Scowen said “I am going to kill you” and he felt he was in imminent danger. Mayo grabbed his pistol and killed Scowen. Officer arrested Mayo but never read him his Miranda Rights. Witnesses for the prosecution include statements made by Mayo, a bar customer. Witnesses for the defense are Mayo and an individual outside the bar.

As mentioned before, probable cause requires facts and circumstances to stand for themselves. The facts of the case show there was a homicide as Mayo did kill Scowen with a firearm. However, the initial facts provided in the case make it difficult to determine if Mayo’s actions were self-defense or not. Based on the legal standard for probable cause, I do not believe there would be sufficient probable cause to arrest Mayo right away for specific charges. More resources would need to be called in such as a detective to take over interviews and crime scene analysis. Once the investigation was complete, then a final determination of charges could be made or not. Since Mayo was arrested, I would assume the officer had a very small amount of probable cause (Mayo + weapon + dead Scowen). However, I don’t think the case would go much further unless more investigation is done.

2) Did law enforcement violate Mayo’s constitutional rights? If yes, explain how. If not, explain why.

In this scenario, a police officer came to the scene and took Mayo’s statements. At this time Miranda was not required because officers are able to get the initial facts to determine if a crime has occurred. Based on the information provided, Mayo’s constitutional rights were not violated. Let’s look at the issue of arrest. A valid arrest must be based upon probable cause to believe a crime has occurred and a specific person has committed the crime. The issue with probable cause is you either have it or you don’t. There is no gray area and an officer cannot arrest someone to in order to investigate the crime further. When a suspect is arrested for a crime, they are arrested because probable cause exists. The prosecution would then decide if charges are to be filed. Even if there is probable cause to arrest an individual, it is perfectly okay to delay the making of a formal arrest until more information is available. There is no requirement that an arrest be made once probable cause develops (Colorado Peace Officers Handbook, 2019). A false arrest would not have been made in this instance because the police did not act without authority or beyond the scope of their powers. In this case, the police have the authority to arrest those they reasonably suspect of having committed a crime. As mentioned before, there is very limited probable cause to arrest Mayo and further information should have been seeked.

3) Were the police required to read Mayo his Miranda rights? Discuss why

Specific situations will require Miranda Rights. In this case, the police have no obligation to read Mayo his Miranda Rights. Two requirements must be met before an officer is required to tell a suspect their Miranda Rights. A suspect must be in custody and interrogation must be imminent. An officer does not have to formally tell a person they are under arrest to be considered in-custody. The courts look at whether an objectively reasonable person would believe they were under arrest or free to leave based on the totality of the circumstances. Miranda is only required if the officer is seeking testimony to prove or disprove the crime in question. Miranda is not required for information unrelated to the crime (Bandiero, 2019). Mayo’s initial statements and his statements if they were made after the arrest could be suppressed under the right circumstances. If the police kept asking questions once they developed probable cause to suspect Mayo of a crime, then yes, the statements could be suppressed. However, Mayo’s initial statements describing what happened would not require Miranda.

References

Bandiero, A. (2019). Search & seizure survival guide: a field guide for law enforcement. Spokane, WA: Blue to Gold Law Enforcement Training, LLC.

Colorado Peace Officers Handbook (33rd ed.). (2019). LexisNexis.

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