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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 99035 Find in a Library
Title: Privacy and Police Undercover Work (From Moral Issues in Police Work, P 147-161, 1985, Fredrick A Elliston and Michael Feldberg, ed. - See NCJ-99027)
Author(s): F Schoeman
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 15
Sponsoring Agency: Rowman and Allanheld Publishers
Totowa, NJ 07512
Sale Source: Rowman and Allanheld Publishers
Division of Littlefield, Adams and Co
81 Adams Drive
Totowa, NJ 07512
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Court decisions regarding privacy issues where the police have used deception to obtain incriminating evidence have been inconsistent with other court decisions bearing upon police tactics; a new standard is required to prevent police undercover activity from violating citizens' privacy.
Abstract: In Memphis, Tenn., Arthur Baldwin was convicted for possession with intent to use and distribute cocaine based on evidence obtained in his home by an undercover officer who worked as Baldwin's personal employee and lived in his home for 6 months. The undercover operation was initiated without suspicion of illegal behavior by Baldwin. The U.S. Supreme Court denied Baldwin's petition for a writ of certiorari. The Supreme Court's refusal to acknowledge pressing constitutional issues in this case is inconsistent with the Court's interpretation of privacy rights in other similar cases. Deceptive police undercover practices have been exempted by the courts from judicial review for probable cause, usually required before police can search and seize evidence in a private home. This exemption is based in the view that the voluntary admission of an undercover police officer into one's private life constitutes a waiver of any claim to a privacy violation. A new standard should be established to prevent the undercover investigation of a person by any one agency for more than 24 hours without a court-approved warrant. Twenty notes are listed.
Index Term(s): Judicial decisions; Legal privacy protection; Right of privacy; Undercover activity
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