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NCJ Number: 158174 Find in a Library
Title: Automobile Searches and Judicial Decisionmaking Under State Constitutions: State v. Miller
Journal: Connecticut Law Review  Volume:27  Issue:2  Dated:(Winter 1995)  Pages:699- 734
Author(s): W D Dupont
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 36
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Using the case of State v. Miller, this discussion focuses on two occasions that would justify State court departure from Federal precedent in favor of State constitutional law: (1) to clarify confusing Federal case law and (2) to increase the amount of privacy protection a State provides its citizens.
Abstract: The Miller decision interpreted State law as requiring a search warrant to search a vehicle impounded at a police station, in contrast to the 1970 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Chambers v. Maroney. The Miller decision demonstrated that abandoning Federal precedent enabled Connecticut to clarify its automobile search and seizure law for its State police and its courts. In addition, although the police reaction to the Miller decision is unknown, it is still possible to conclude that the decision will provide citizens increased privacy protection. Whether the police do not react to Miller or whether they increase the amount of warrantless roadside searches they perform, when the police impound a vehicle and a search warrant is denied, the Miller decision will protect citizens from unjustified warrantless searches that would have taken place prior to Miller. Thus, the Connecticut Supreme Court's departure from Federal precedent was unmistakably sound and justifiable. Footnotes
Main Term(s): Appellate court decisions
Index Term(s): Criminology; Search and seizure laws; US Supreme Court decisions; Vehicle searches; Warrantless search
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