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Supreme Court and Police Practices: The Unusually Busy 2003-2004 Term

NCJ Number
American Journal of Criminal Justice Volume: 29 Issue: 2 Dated: Spring 2005 Pages: 247-267
Jack E. Call
Date Published
21 pages
This article examines decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court in its 2003-2004 term that relate to police practices.
These decisions are first placed in recent historical perspective, followed by a brief discussion of the six least significant decisions on police practices from the last term of the Supreme Court. The five most important of these cases are discussed in more detail. The paper concludes with a discussion of the policy implications of the cases decided in the 2003-2004 term, which is judged by the author to be the most important term for police practices in the last decade. The Court decided 11 cases that addressed issues in police practices. The author deems several of these cases to be among the most important of the cases relevant to police practices over the last 9 years. The Court upheld the arrest of all the occupants of a car when drugs are found in it; permitted police roadblocks designed to obtain information from the public in certain circumstances; refused to suppress physical evidence obtained from Miranda violations; expanded the availability of warrantless car searches incident to arrest to include arrest of recent occupants of the car; and upheld statutes that require persons stopped based on reasonable suspicion to identify themselves. The justices' voting patterns in these cases are reviewed. 1 table, 5 references, and 38 cited court cases


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