Citation UNITED STATES, Petitioner v Antoine JONES No. 10-1259 (SC, Jan, 23 2012)
The Intelligence Agency formed a partnership with the Metropolitan Police Department in order to investigate alleged business of human trafficking operating out of Maryland, and therefore, the teamed up investigative units inserted a Global Positioning Services (GPS) module on the underside of suspect’s vehicle (I have mentioned the presence of joint task agreement here). However, the defense argued that the evidence obtained from the installed equipment is inadmissible to the court as it would be a violation of the Fourth Amendment.
Whether or not, the installation of GPS module on suspect’s vehicle was constitutional under the light of Fourth Amendment?
The court considered that the subject action was a violation of the Fourth Amendment, and therefore, it does not qualify as valid and admissible source of material evidence in the court of law. However, the probable cause was not developed before installation of the device.
The holding of the court established that the involved law enforcement agencies had to uphold the letter of law but they failed to do so in this regard, and therefore, the obtained proof is not lawful. The police and FBI had to obtain a warrant in order to substantiate the investigation in lawful terms, and the court may have backed up the word of the investigators by stating the validity of the warrant, and the authority could produce the document for the plaintiff on request.
The Fourth Amendment protects the civil rights of the public against forceful and illegal seizures and searches so the actions of the police in the case circumvented the spirit of the integral part of the constitution whereas, the outcome of the effort does not matter whether it has positive or negative value in the context of providing service to the society. Additionally, the collaborative effort does not mean that the agencies have earned the right to suppress basic judicial freedoms of the citizen. (Again I mentioned the presence of joint operations)
UNITED STATES, Petitioner v.Antoine JONES, No. 10-1259. (Supreme Court of the United States January 23, 2012).