Monday, September 23, 2013

Criminal Justice Discussion Board #5

I enjoyed this one so I decided to post it here... And Westwood Town Hall is now playing My Country Tis of Thee on the bells. lol

I have found that I hold a pretty unpopular opinion about privacy. I discovered this fact by conversations about the more invasive searches done in airports. Policies put in place for security. My opinion, in brief, is that I would rather someone see me naked if it meant they saw the other passenger with weapons/explosives hidden on their person naked too. I don't have anything worth hiding so much that it involves heightened risks of danger to myself, my family, or others.That isn't the same as police searches of course, but I follow the same vein of reasoning. If you follow the laws and don't carry a concealed weapon with no license, or carry around open containers or drugs, or pack your trunk with body parts or fugitives then the worst part of a search is time lost. People do such a good job of wasting their own time, safety seems like an appropriate place to have some time wasted. To be fair, I think the phrase "probable cause" leaves HUGE amounts of discretion to the officer. For example: I am a police officer and I pull someone over for failing to maintain their lane. I get out and ask if there is anything in the car and can I search it. The suspect says "no". As a person, a curious person whose responsibilities involve crime detection, I am going to be suspicious. I will probably even feel I have probable cause. So even if that suspect is just a hardliner libertarian who enjoys being obstinate, I am going to think he is hiding something criminal. So, do I think Police should have lots of room in regards to when and where searches are carried out? Yes, I do. Do I agree with the laws that dictate what is and isn't an offence? Not, all the time. I think some laws waste police time and budget. I also think that there is a lot of unwarranted fear against police and their invasions on our sacred realms of privacy and that a little perspective would help to alleviate some of those misconceptions.

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