Ahhh, yes, here's where we got to, yesterday:
To me, this is the scariest part of this opinion, this is where we give police officers the ability to perform their jobs poorly, and not be held accountable:
“Here, Deputy Strzelecki did not rely primarily on the implied consent law in obtaining the defendant’s blood. Rather, he erroneously believed that the defendant had actually consented to the blood draw, and he viewed the blood draw as mandatory, regardless of the defendant’s consent, because the accident involved fatalities. As a result, he did not advise the defendant of her ability to decline consent to the blood draw or of the consequences of doing so.”
The trooper testified that the blood draws “would have been mandatory under our investigation” because the accident involved fatalities. WHAT????? That’s not a legal standard; that’s a standard of professionalism within their own department. My understanding is there’s no law that says a trooper can draw someone’s blood if there is a fatality – the trooper still has to advise them of the implied consent law. In my mind, the trooper’s belief that he had consent is mutually exclusive to whether he messed up the constitutional requirements of drawing blood without consent. Let’s be clear, this officer knew the implied consent law, and when in doubt, he should have read the thing to Reynolds.
The Supreme Court found:
“Nevertheless, even if the warrantless blood draw violated the state and federal constitutional prohibitions against unreasonable searches, we conclude, as explained hereinafter, that the exclusionary rule does not require suppression of the evidence because the warrantless blood draw was conducted in objectively reasonable, good-faith reliance on binding precedent. Therefore, given the unusual facts in this case, and because this issue is not determinative to the outcome of this appeal, we decline to decide here whether the implied consent law satisfies the consent exception to the warrant requirement.”
The Supreme Court believes this will be a limited exception, as stated:
"We adopt only the Davis good-faith exception, which “represents a small fragment of federal good-faith jurisprudence.” Id. Furthermore, the Davis good-faith exception we adopt applies only when the law enforcement officers‟ action is in objectively reasonable good faith reliance on “binding appellate precedent” that “specifically authorizes a particular police practice.” Davis, 564 U.S. at 241."
Binding appellate precedent that specifically authorized a particular police practice? What does that really mean? This accident took place in 2011, the McNeely decision was released by SCOTUS in 2013. But at no point was a state trooper ever allowed to, legally, take a blood draw without implied consent warning OR a warrant, because he believed he was required because people will killed in a wreck.
Finally, to give you an idea of the real goal behind the GFE, see the Court’s description about Kentucky’s:
"We need not and do not here decide whether to embrace any of the other good-faith exceptions to the exclusionary rule the Supreme Court has adopted. Id. Like the Kentucky Supreme Court, which also adopted but narrowly defined the Davis good-faith exception, we view our decision as adequately preserving “the protections provided by our state and federal constitutions while not penalizing police officers for performing their duties conscientiously and in good-faith.” Parker v. Commonwealth, 440 S.W.3d 381, 387 (Ky. 2014). As the Kentucky Supreme Court declared, “[l]aw enforcement officers are the vanguard of our legal system.” Id."
Vanguard is defined as: a position at the forefront of new developments or ideas. I respectfully disagree. Officers are not the vanguard, judges are.
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