Criminal Procedure Assignment
you will be analyzing three different hypothetical cases. Please answer the questions for each case in complete sentences, with proper spelling, grammar and punctuation. Each answer should be at least 3-4 paragraphs in length, and contain reasons for your answers. Please provide citations to cases if you feel it is necessary to fully answer the question.
A police officer who works near a local airport observes a car speeding on the road leading into the airport. He stops the car and approaches the vehicle, where he sees a man alone in the driver’s seat and his suitcase in the back seat. The traveler is sweating profusely, and keeps telling the officer he is in a hurry to catch a flight. The officer asks the traveler if he can search his luggage, and the man says yes. When the officer unzips the bag and starts the search, the man changes his mind and says no. At that point, the officer leaves the bag unzipped but still laying on the back seat where the contents are not visible. He calls for another officer to bring a drug detection dog to the site. The other officer and the dog get called to a more urgent search and don’t appear. The traveler asks to leave, which the officer says is ok, but he won’t let him take his bag. The traveler refuses to catch his plane, and asks for an attorney.
Analyze this case from both the traveler’s and the police officer’s perspective. What constitutional rights are at issue? Have any of them been violated?
A police officer observes a motor home driving erratically down a main street at 10:00 a.m. She is concerned that the driver may be impaired by alcohol or drugs. When the officer approaches the driver’s side of the vehicle, the window is down and she can smell a strong marijuana odor. She also observes two other people in the vehicle, a woman in the front seat and a man in the middle of the mobile home sitting at a table. She also observes a clear plastic bag on the table with a white powdery substance inside. What can the officer do next based on these facts? Be specific in your answer.
The Patriot Act, as originally passed and amended, significantly increased the ability of law enforcement to use search and surveillance procedures in the investigation of activities in the United States in the interest of national security and preventing terrorism. One provision of the Act, Section 213, is known as the “sneak and peek” provision. The provision provides law enforcement with warrants to enter a suspect’s house, and look for records on their personal computers, without notifying the suspect a search has occurred. This provision has also been used to investigate crimes other than terrorism, such as drug and fraud cases. Evaluate the pros and cons of this law, and include in your analysis the constitutional provisions that are affected.
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