Police allowed to use GPS tracking device on civilians without warrant in California

A Federal Appeals Court in California upheld the ruling against Pineda-Moreno, that sentenced him to 51-months in prison for ‘conspiracy to grow marijuana.’

He appealed his sentence due to Drug Enforcement Agents sneaking in his driveway, and placing a GPS tracking device under his vehicle without a warrant, which ultimately led the DEA to the Pineda-Moreno’s criminal conduct.

Chief Justice Alex Kozinski was one of the dissenting judges and deemed the ruling as the precursor for ‘creepy,’ and ‘underhanded’ police tactics.

Usually people who are in favor, or indifferent to a type of ruling like this rationalize it by saying ‘If you’re not doing anything wrong the police won’t bother you.’ When that is the biggest load of shit ever. Sure Pineda-Moreno committed an illegal act. But the procedure and tactic that was able to be used for evidence has now set the precedent for law enforcement to be able to compromise privacy and civil liberties, by taking advantage of the benefit technology has been able to provide them.

Instead of the police having to do police work, and compile a sufficient amount of evidence to distinguish the criminals from the non-criminals, the concern now becomes, what is next? We’ve been granted certain civil liberties by the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. But while technology has advanced we have seen law enforcement utilize those advances, and in most cases their newfound practices infringe on the civil liberties of civilians.

People side with law enforcement far too often in these instances, and it is befuddling why they could be so earnest to go for something that is against their own best interest? Even though Pineda-Moreno was guilty, not everyone the police believe is up to no good is up to no good.

For them to be able to infringe on private lives without a warrant is a paradox from the assumption of the legal system that we are beholden to, which is ‘you are innocent until proven guilty.’ But with the police they are able to operate under reigns like this. For them it’s more like ‘we can do anything until we prove you guilty.’

One Response to Police allowed to use GPS tracking device on civilians without warrant in California

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