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Friend of the Court (Florida v. Jardines)

November 4th, 2012

The Fourth Amendment says, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” This Amendment was clearly violated in the case Florida v. Jardines. Outside of Jardines’ home, drug dogs were used to do a “sniff test” because a tip was given to the police that Jardines was growing marijuana in his home. The police did not have a warrant or probable cause to search the outside of his home since there was no evidence other than an unverified tip saying that Jardines was growing marijuana. The dog smelled marijuana around his home, so the police got a warrant to search Jardines’ home and they found marijuana and arrested him. The evidence found by the drug dogs should not be used as evidence for a warrant because the police did an illegal search without a warrant. In Kyllo v. United States, the Supreme Court ruled that using a thermal imaging device, outside of someone’s home, searching for marijuana without a warrant was unconstitutional. Florida v. Jardines is no different than Kyllo v. United States, and so the evidence found by the drug dogs should not be used against Jardines. The State of Florida may argue that since the drug dogs only searched outside of Jardines’ home, it is legal and the evidence should be allowed to be used in obtaining the warrant.  If the State of Florida wins, then the police could start using the decision of this case as an argument to the legality of searching anyone in public or anywhere outside of a building or home without a warrant. This case could change warrant procedures causing a large adjustment to be made in law enforcement. Although Jardines was growing marijuana, the way the police discovered Jardines’ crime is illegal. The Fourth Amendment was clearly violated because Jardines’ property was searched without a probable cause or a warrant. The evidence found against Jardines should not be used in court and therefore Jardines’ conviction should be reversed.