« Big-Deficit Tax Reform Does Not Seem to Be a Winner | Main | Why Oh Why Can't We Have a Better Press Corps? (Special George Will Edition) »

December 09, 2005

A Fourth Amendment Problem

Can this really be as represented? I know that some of my friends think that I am too-prone to jump to the conclusion that Republicans are malevolent sadistic f----. But is there another interpretation possible?

Digby directs us to the scene of Samuel Alito's criminal opinion:

Hullabaloo : Samuel Alito is a real piece 'o work:

'84 Alito Memo Backed Police Who Shot Unarmed Suspect - Los Angeles Times : Alito wrote that he saw no constitutional problem with a police officer shooting and killing an unarmed teenager who was fleeing after a $10 home burglary.

"I think the shooting [in this case] can be justified as reasonable," Alito wrote in a 1984 memo to Justice Department officials. Because the officer could not know for sure why a suspect was fleeing, the courts should not set a rule forbidding the use of deadly force, he said. "I do not think the Constitution provides an answer to the officer's dilemma," Alito advised.

A year later, however, the Supreme Court used the same case to set a firm national rule against the routine use of "deadly force" against fleeing suspects who pose no danger. "It is not better that all felony suspects die than that they escape," wrote Justice Byron White for a 6-3 majority in Tennessee vs. Garner. "Where the suspect poses no immediate threat to the officer and no threat to others, the harm resulting from failing to apprehend him does not justify the use of deadly force to do so."

The 4th Amendment forbids "unreasonable searches and seizures" by the government, and the high court said that killing an unarmed suspect who was subject to arrest amounted to an "unreasonable seizure." Said White: "A police officer may not seize an unarmed, nondangerous suspect by shooting him dead."

Impeach George W. Bush. Impeach him now.

Posted by DeLong at December 9, 2005 10:26 AM