Friday, October 8, 2010

Amendment 4: Search and Seizure

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

This parody by the Onion News mocks amendment four, asking if the government is spying on schizophrenics. One symptom of schizophrenia is feeling as if one is being constantly watched. With schizophrenics feeling as if the government is always watching them, viewers question, is the government always watching everyone? Since the Patriot Act, the government has been able to tap into personal conversations online and on the phone to protect the nation's security. One big question was figuring out where to draw the line at the invasion of privacy. Amendment four helps answer this question by asserting any search or seizures need to be based on probable cause.

This humorous cartoon shows two police officers breaking into a room where privacy rights are stored.  Despite being required to have a search warrant, the officer's notice says they can go forth with their investigation without the proper authorizations.  Today, this kind of behavior in the real world, if without probable cause, would disqualify any evidence found in the quarters being searched if a warrant was not approved beforehand.      

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