from san francisco chronicle: The Supreme Court made it easier Thursday for police to barge into homes and seize evidence without knocking or waiting, a sign of the court's new conservatism with Samuel Alito on board.
The court, on a 5-4 vote, said judges cannot throw out evidence collected by police who have search warrants but do not properly announce their arrival.
It was a significant rollback of earlier rulings protective of homeowners, even unsympathetic homeowners like Booker Hudson, who had a loaded gun next to him and cocaine rocks in his pocket when Detroit police entered his unlocked home in 1998 without knocking.
The court's five-member conservative majority, anchored by new Chief Justice John Roberts and Alito, said that police blunders should not result in "a get-out-of-jail-free card" for defendants.
Dissenting justices predicted that police will now feel free to ignore previous court rulings requiring officers with search warrants to knock and announce themselves to avoid running afoul of the Constitution's Fourth Amendment ban on unreasonable searches.
"The knock-and-announce rule is dead in the United States," said David Moran, a Wayne State University professor who represented Hudson. "There are going to be a lot more doors knocked down. There are going to be a lot more people terrified and humiliated."