Thursday, October 27, 2011
Why judges rubber stamp search warrants based on anonymous CIs
If you ever wonder why judges sign off on questionable search warrants in drug cases based on information from unnamed criminals working as informants on behalf of police, the short answer is, "they have to." As evidence, look no further than a recent example in Houston where Judge Kevin Fine's denial of a search warrant was overturned by the 14th Court of Appeals. What drew this benchslapping? Applying too-strict scrutiny to hearsay information from an anonymous informant. Even where judges think such testimony merits more corroboration, in Texas judges are apparently bound to accept it uncritically when considering pre-indictment search warrants. The Houston Press has the story.