Saturday, January 31, 2009

as necessary as your miranda rights

dropping the exclusionary rule from criminal justice was not a manoeuvre i expected from justice john roberts. perhaps i just can't remember it as a goal warned about in the papers when he was elected years ago. certainly, the exclusionary rule has changed over the centuries, specifically being applied at state level after a warren court ruling in the landmark case mapp v. ohio, but the rule has been applied in other important u. s. legal cases since the 19th century. it is a means of protecting 4th amendment rights, specifically written into the constitution in reaction to the general warrants or writs of assistance that allowed british soldiers to search the houses of colonists before the revolutionary war. let's remember exactly what the 4th amendment says (i think it's always important to go back and look at the constitution once in a while): "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 issues, but upon probable cause, supported by oat or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." certainly, the exclusionary rule creates obstacles for law enforcement and prosecution, but the rule seems necessary, natural, and historical. my favorite part of this article: "Justice Scalia cited the work of a criminologist, Samuel Walker, to support his point about increased police professionalism. Professor Walker responded with an opinion article in The Los Angeles Times saying that Justice Scalia had misrepresented his work. Better police work, Professor Walker said, was a consequence of the exclusionary rule rather than a reason to do away with it."

and i think this is a great idea: power bills that compare how much energy your home is using versus those of your neighbors. we need to know. it's one more way to become conscious.

last night i continued to take it easy. i've had a slight head cold, which hasn't been horrible, but has made me tired and sluggish. booth and i ate at esparza's, which was interesting. the food was good. i played it safe and stuck to a burrito. but the buffalo meat enchilada might be interesting? i don't know. after eating, we had a beer at beulahland while waiting to see a movie at the laurelhirst theatre. we saw tell no one, which i've been wanting to see a little. it's a french thriller that sounded interesting and received okay reviewed. i thought it was entertaining. not particularly artful, as cache was. it has a weird 70's look to it, slightly yellowed, many of the characters dressed in outfits that could pass as 70's, except the few arab thugs who help the main character avoid the police.

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