FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
U.S. Supreme Court to Decide If Unlawfully Seized Evidence Can Be Used By Police
DETROIT, Michigan - January 9 - The national American Civil Liberties Union and the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan appeared today before the U.S. Supreme Court to argue that police should not be able to use evidence found in a home if the officers did not meet the “knock and announce” requirement and therefore entered the home illegally. The ACLU is representing Booker T. Hudson, a Michigan homeowner.
“It’s undisputed that the police violated the Fourth Amendment by barging into Mr. Hudson’s home without ‘knocking and announcing,’” said David A. Moran, Assistant Professor at Wayne State University Law School and the ACLU cooperating attorney who argued the case before the Court. “The question is whether evidence should be suppressed in order to deter the police from violating the ‘knock and announce’ requirement.”
According to the ACLU, Detroit police broke into Hudson’s home without knocking and announcing, as required by law. Once inside, the police found a small quantity of drugs and arrested Hudson for possession, which caused him to be placed on probation for eighteen months. Hudson's legal attempt to suppress the evidence found in his home on the basis of the “knock and announce” violation was denied because of a 1999 Michigan Supreme Court ruling that evidence found after such a violation was not eligible for suppression.
In a 1995 U.S. Supreme Court opinion Justice Clarence Thomas, writing for the
Court, stressed that the “knock and announce” requirement protects the dignity
of residents by allowing them a reasonable time to make themselves presentable
before the police enter, and also protects private property by allowing
residents an opportunity to open their door instead of having the doors
destroyed by a police battering ram.
In addition to Moran and Moss, Hudson is represented by Steven R. Shapiro of the national ACLU, Michael Steinberg of the ACLU of Michigan, Timothy O’Toole and Richard D. Korn.
To read the brief, go to: www.aclu.org/scotus/2005/21345lgl20050922.html