In a closely watched case, the federal judge ruled that the Constitutional rights of two defendants — Manuel Mendoza and Marco Magana of Green Bay, WI — were not violated when federal agents with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) invaded their private property without warrant to plant wireless surveillance cameras. The judge also ruled that the collected evidence could be used against the defendants.
The judge argued that the 22-acre property’s numerous “no trespassing” signs did not apply to federal agents — with or without warrant.
Shoddy legal reasoning was used in a decision that bucks the Fourth Amendment.
In the summer of 2006, agents of the Drug Enforcement Agencyused GPS tracking technology to locate drug courier Melvin Skinner’s prepaid phone, ultimately seizing more than 1,000 pounds of marijuana from Skinner’s mobile home. The judges on the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit then apparently smoked all of it before issuing their ruling inUnited States v. Skinnerthis week, because the opinion approving DEA’s use of GPS technology in this case is easily one of the most muddled examples of legal reasoning I’ve ever encountered—a surreal potpourri of factual misunderstandings, inapt analogies, sloppy and selective appeals to precedent, and logical leaps worthy of Nijinsky.
Clusters of what at first appear to be surveillance cameras have begun turning up in recent months on the Southwest border, and while some of the machines are merely surveillance cameras, others are specialized recognition devices that automatically capture license-plate numbers and the geographic location of everyone who passes by, plus the date and time.
The DEA confirms that the devices have been deployed in Arizona, California, Texas, and New Mexico. It has plans to introduce them farther inside the United States.
… the New York Police Department, in 2011, stopped, questioned and frisked a record-breaking 684,330 black and Latino males, with 41 percent of those stop-and-frisks being youth between the ages of 14 and 24…