Lawmaker Wants To Keep Drug Dogs on a Leash

Lawmaker Wants To Keep Drug Dogs on a Leash
Posted by CN Staff on February 15, 2005 at 07:48:28 PT
By Gary Wisby, Staff Reporter 
Source: Chicago Sun-Times
"Reasonable belief" that drugs are in someone's car would be needed, not "ear-piercing or dreadlocks," for police in Illinois to use drug-sniffing dogs under a bill filed Monday by Rep. Monique Davis (D-Chicago).The measure is a response to a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision based on an Illinois case. Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan argued in favor of the dogs' use before the high court, which agreed with her in overruling an Illinois Supreme Court decision.
"In my opinion, this will lead to a police state," Davis said, subjecting "innocent motorists, college students and especially people of color to the harassing, frightening and embarrassing experience of a dog search."Police need more evidence than "ear-piercing and dreadlocks" to pull a driver over and call in the dogs, she said. Davis cited protections in the U.S. and Illinois constitutions against searches and seizures that lack probable cause.Driving with PotOn Jan. 24, the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the conviction of Roy Caballes, who had 270 pounds of marijuana in his car when a state trooper stopped him on Interstate 80 driving 6 mph over the speed limit. A police dog detected drugs when it sniffed the outside of the car. Madigan argued, and the court agreed 6-2, that the sniffing produced probable cause for a search.The trooper reportedly summoned a K-9 unit when Caballes, of Las Vegas, appeared nervous. But Daniel Coyne of the Chicago Council of Lawyers, who joined Davis at a news conference, said the real reason was that Caballes was "a Hispanic man wearing a suit."Sniffer dogs aren't foolproof, Coyne added, noting that one study found 75 percent of all the currency in the United States is contaminated with drugs.The Illinois State Police reported that of 3,720 dog-sniff tests of vehicles, 325 -- fewer than 1 in 10 -- detected drugs in 2000, said Ed Yohnka of the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois.Maria Valdez of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund said racial profiling of motorists is a major problem, especially in the suburbs. "You can imagine the fear of people, especially with children in the car, when the dogs are brought in," she said. "Many of them come from countries where dogs are used to intimidate folks."Madigan's office said troopers using K-9 units last year seized $134 million in drugs, including 3.34 million grams of marijuana and 998,000 grams of cocaine.She said in a statement that drug-sniffing dogs play an "indispensable" role. "Although such units are used infrequently, their impact . . . has been extremely significant."Newshawk: PotpalSource: Chicago Sun-Times (IL)Author: Gary Wisby, Staff Reporter Published: February 15, 2005Copyright: 2005 The Sun-Times Co.Contact: letters suntimes.comWebsite: Related Articles: Who Let The Dogs In? for Life in a Police State Uphold Use of Drug-Sniffing Dogs
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Comment #3 posted by Sam Adams on February 15, 2005 at 10:09:17 PT
How many TONS of low-quality beer are trucked out of St. Louis and Milkwaukee every day?And those damn Russians have opened the floodgates of vodka! pouring over the border.
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Comment #2 posted by kaptinemo on February 15, 2005 at 09:50:30 PT:
Notice something?
Why is it all of a sudden the Powers That Be decide to use the metric system to weigh their haul? Maybe because it looks more impressive than putting it into English measures? 3.34 million grams divided by 
28 grams to an ounce, divided by 
16 ounces to a pound.Comes out to 7,455 pounds of weed, or 3.72 tons. An amount that crosses the Mex border probably about every two hours. How many dogs do you think they'll need to catch even the tiniest portion of that? Futility, thy name is "DrugWar".
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on February 15, 2005 at 08:33:19 PT
News Article from The Modesto Bee
Right-Wing Movement To Split Apart 9th Circuit Court Should Be Rejected 
  February 15, 2005Just as the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals celebrates the 100th anniversary of the courthouse at Seventh and Mission streets in San Francisco, ideologues are renewing efforts to break up the circuit.Such a bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives last year, but didn't reach the Senate. Two bills have been introduced this year.This political attempt to alter the court to suit political whims of certain ideologues smacks of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's attempted "court packing" scheme in 1937. Roosevelt didn't like what the U.S. Supreme Court was doing to his New Deal programs, so he set out to enlarge the court so he could name new justices.The arguments he made about "efficiency" sound the same as arguments put forward by today's court wreckers. This largest circuit in the country represents nine states in the West, including California, and two Pacific islands. But size isn't the reason it is being targeted for breakup. Ideologues just don't like some of the circuit's decisions.They've focused on some high-profile cases such as the Pledge of Allegiance and medical marijuana. Never mind that the judge who wrote that "under God" in the pledge was an "endorsement of religion" and therefore unconstitutional was appointed by President Nixon. Never mind that Judge Alex Kozinkski, appointed by President Reagan, insists that accusations that the 9th Circuit is ultraliberal are "just simply misplaced." Snipped:Complete Article:
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