Who Needs Search Warrants? Just Follow Your Nose!

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C.J. Maloney
Keep knockin’ and you can’t come in,
Keep knockin’ and you can’t come in,
I guess you better let me be.
~ Perry Bradford
Riding the commuter trains of my area is a study in how people react to being mildly uncomfortable for any length of time. Being designed to seat people of a body type far slimmer than what my line usually encounters makes riding to work with a seatmate’s bulging oversized body squeezing you into the wall, arm rest or the bulging girth seated on your other side almost a given. Lucky for me, I learned how to properly fold and read The New York Times even when hemmed into a packed subway car so handling the task while immobilized between two people who could stand to lose a few stone each is not beyond my ability.
So that’s how I was able to read Justices Look Again At How Police May Search Homes on a recent ride home. 

Apparently, the brave warriors who fight our War on Drugs have found getting search warrants too much of a hassle, and lawyers for the Obama administration and the state of Kentucky are before the Supreme Court arguing they must be able to forcibly enter any home should they simply “smell something funny” and “hear strange noises” from the other side of a door. I’d gasp in horror at their brazenness, but I can barely breathe due to the 300 pounds of American on each side of me. Every time the mountain to my left turns a page of the magazine she’s reading I feel a rib crack.

I’m getting squeezed, too, from the other side, and I keep a wary eye on the man. He’s balancing a slice of pizza, a can of diet cola and the sports page on top of his stomach. I worry about his ability to juggle it all, but at least I have my iPod on so I don’t need to hear him slurp and chew for the next hour, though I can still hear a young girl, ten rows up, talk into her cell phone. So I turn up the volume and thank God for His blessings, like having the ability to drown out the world about you. It’s the little things that count. I go back to reading. 
The reporter tells me that some police officers down in Kentucky were wandering the hallways of an apartment building (searching for a suspect who had sold drugs to one of their informants) and broke down an apartment door from which they claim to have smelled marijuana and heard noises that “made them fear evidence was being destroyed.” So without any warrant at all they kicked in a door and arrested a completely different man than the one they were searching for as the poor sap they grabbed, by chance, had marijuana and cocaine in his apartment. No surprise, the Kentucky Supreme Court suppressed the evidence. Even less of a surprise, federal and Kentucky political authorities went apoplectic with that decision. 


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