Consistent in all global legislative systems, legal cases are initially sought out in lower and trial courts.Subsequently, the decisions are appealed and challenged in higher courts such as Supreme Court. …
Consistent in all global legislative systems, legal cases are initially sought out in lower and trial courts.Subsequently, the decisions are appealed and challenged in higher courts such as Supreme Court. Various concurring and dissenting opinions are revealed during the hearings of the cases and all circumstances are carefully accounted for before reaching final conclusion. References to past legal cases are very critical as situations of most of the cases resemble to those in older ones. This paper entails a detailed discussion and critical analysis of two separate legal cases which have mutually similar circumstances. Legal facts of case FLORIDA V. JARDINES This case revolved on deciding whether using a drug-sniffing dog on curtilage of an individual’s home, in hope of finding traces of illegal content, constitutes to meaning of ‘search’ as prescribed under the Fourth Amendment. Jardines’ house front porch was searched by police with Franky, a drug-sniffing dog, and a warrant was requested on basis of suspicious information gathered through this search. Later, marijuana and other related material were discovered from premises and Jardines was arrested and charged accordingly. FLORIDA V. HARRIS This case pertained to a similar situation whereby a police officer, Mr. Wheetley, pulled over a driver for a routine check-post stop and insisted on searching the vehicle after his trained K-9 dog indicated that side door handle reflects some traces of drugs content. Subsequently, only methamphetamine ingredients were found and Harris, the driver, was charged with its possession. Later out on bail, Harris ran into officer Wheetley again and a similar search was conducted but in vain. Harris filed a case to suppress the evidence on basis that the officer did not have probable cause for searching his trunk as the dog displayed incompetent performance. At the hearing, officer eventually confessed about expiry of certification and his lack of due diligence in maintaining updated records of dog’s performances and trainings (Supreme Court of the United States [a] 1-6). Court decisions FLORIDA V. JARDINES At the hearing of trial court, Jardines claimed that dog-sniffing investigation had no reasonable grounds and hence marijuana possession must be dispensed with. The trial court approved the motion which was subsequently reversed by the Florida Third District Court of Appeal. When petition was filed for scrutiny of this reversal, the Supreme Court nullified this decision and agreed to initial decision as given by trial court, suppressing that the trained-dog investigation falls under Fourth Amendment search and hence any warrant released on basis of information revealed in such search is itself void. FLORIDA V. HARRIS Initially, the trial court disapproved the motion to suppress on the grounds that officer had reasonable basis to conduct search. Harris entered an appeal against trial court’s decision and the intermediate state court also affirmed the same. However, subsequently the Supreme Court intervened and denied trial court’s decision and claimed that officer didn’t have probable cause to search vehicle in accordance with the definition under Fourth Amendment. It ruled out on the adequacy of reason given by the officer that the dog was adequately certified and trained. Later, the court itself established certain standards to test dog’s reliability and potential as it claimed that a wider range of evidence is required to indicate number of times the dog might have given a false alert in similar past situations. The Florida Supreme Court ordered that a complete set of records and exhibits for dog’s credentials must be presented for review prior to establishing its potential and credibility. It designed various tests to assess its capabilities and produced a rigorous checklist which the ...
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