CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

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Sunday, October 4, 2009

"Does the Mere Existence of an Invalid Arrest Warrant Injure Its Target?"

ColbSherry F. Colb (Cornell Law School) has a detailed analysis at Findlaw of the recent appellate case addressing this situation, which we had previously described here. Professor Colb's conclusion:

When police carry out illegal searches and seizures, they may do so without ever alerting their target – especially if the target turns out to be innocent of any wrongdoing (and therefore unlikely to confront the results of the searches in a later criminal prosecution). But what the Fourth Amendment guarantees is "[t]he right of the people to be secure," and it seems inaccurate to say that a person is truly secure from unreasonable seizures when the police are presently in possession of an invalid warrant for his arrest. One might even describe that state of affairs as the very opposite of security.

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