Argument Preview - United States v. Jones

Prof. Douglas Godfrey of the IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law discusses the implications of one of the most important Search & Seizure cases the Court will have reviewed in the last decade.

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Spencer Kemp
Mr. Pacia
Legal Studies .1/Period G
20 November 2011
United States vs. Jones
This case has to deal with the fourth amendment to the constitution, which is, in short, our rights as citizens. Antoine Jones was arrested in October of 2005 after having his car secretly tracked, via a G.P.S. tracker, for a month by the police, without judicial authority. The jury found him innocent of everything but conspiracy. District prosecutors re-filed for a single count of conspiracy. He was convicted and then the ruling was over ruled and Jones was set free.
The overruling made by a panel of three judges was the correct decision. Although Jones was guilty of many things, the constitution was created to protect the rights of the innocent. The fourth amendment states, “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 (The Constitution).” Without a warrant, this act was unconstitutional. Also the evidence the cops received from this was illegally found.
It would be nice if the cops could do anything and be able to catch more criminals faster. But the laws are there to protect the innocent and their rights to life, liberty, property, and privacy. The laws were created so that the innocent citizens are protected and that their rights are upheld. If cops could do anything, more criminals would get caught, however the innocent bystanders would be even more injured than if the cops had done everything according to the laws set out by the country.
Jones was probably guilty and he was found innocent because his rights as a citizen were broken. He should have had gone to jail, but because of the immoral, and unethical practices of the police force, he was able to walk away, without any punishment. The court ruling is correct. It does matter how the evidence is found.

I think that the government overstepped its boundaries by placing a GPS tracker on someone's car for 28 days. With modern technology your not just able to follow a suspect, you can actually see them by using satellite technology. I believe that in order to track a person's movements over the course of a month, a warrant is needed. Most likely if the police feel that it is pertinent to plant a tracker on someone's vehicle they will be able to convince a judge to grant a warrant.

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