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Re: You really do want to volunteer, don't you?



The case was in Florida; I don't remember the name either.
The officers got on the bus and told some passengers they wanted
to search their bags.  One passenger felt intimidated, but gave in,
got busted for the drugs he was carrying, and appealed.

The Supremes basically ruled that he should have known his rights,
was not under arrest, and could have refused to consent, 
but that since he did consent to the intimidating well-armed gentlemen
blocking his exit from the bus, it's not their problem.   
Not the kind of ruling I'd hope for, but it does at least make it clear
that just because the police tell you you have to consent, that
doesn't mean you _do_ have to consent.  On the other hand,
the police can arrest you for no particularly good reason for
up to 48 hours, which kind of puts a crimp in your Greyhound ticket.

If you don't mind joining the ACLU, an ACLU card isn't bad ID
to give a cop who demands one .... don't leave home without it.

At 09:53 PM 9/1/97 -0700, Tim May wrote:
>Item: "You may volunteer to let the nice officers boarding this bus search
>your bags without any kind of search warrant or probable cause. Most of you
>will readily volunteer, as you "have nothing to hide." However, failure to
>volunteer will then mark you as a probable hider of something, and the
>police officers will then have "probable cause" to search your bags. Have a
>nice day."
>
>This was an actual case, heard by the Supreme Court several years back. Bus
>passengers were given the opportunity to volunteer, as noted. Failure to
>volunteer was construed as probable cause that contraband was present.


#			Thanks;  Bill
# Bill Stewart, +1-415-442-2215 [email protected]
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