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Future crime warrant: Search warrants with only predictions? Texas judge dissent

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A future crime warrant might be in the works, though one Texas judge’s dissent this week on the authorization of state police to acquire legal search warrants founded only on “predictions of the commission of future crimes” was a heated one. This groundbreaking notion is being seen by some as a violation of people’s rights, while others think it might be valuable in helping prevent crimes. The Blaze offers both sides of the argument and this huge decision surrounding search warrants on Wednesday night, Dec. 18, 2013.

The future crime warrant was opinionated against by Judge Lawrence Meyers, a Texas Court of Criminal Appeals official. He made the statement following a controversial claim regarding the judicial ruling in a case that evidence local authorities had uncovered during a search — a search that had been completed without a proper warrant — should be viewed as admissible in a court of law due to these “predictions.”

A noteworthy case in which this legal idea was brought to the forefront occurred back in 2010 where Parker County law enforcers allegedly took Michael Fred Wehrenberg and some others into custody following an investigation, citing evidence that had been “illegally” obtained in the search.

According to a source on the use of a future crime warrant in the investigation at the time:

“Authorities say a confidential informant affirmed Wehrenberg and some associates were “fixing to” cook meth, so they searched his home while detaining the suspected group outside chained in handcuffs. Investigators reportedly found the materials necessary for producing meth — boxes of pseudoephedrine and stripped lithium batteries, among other suspicious items — and then asked a judge to grant them a warrant to search the house … However, the officers of the law never formally noted in the warrant that they had already entered the home and instead based their request for the search request on a tip from that same confidential informant. When police then reentered the home, they reportedly seized all the items they had already found without former cause.”

In the suspects’ defense, lawyers stated that such evidence was acquired illegally sans the search warrant and could not be perceived as admissible in a court of law. However, the motion was then denied and the evidence was since allowed.

Wrote Judge Meyers when the future crime warrant case was made known to him, lashing out at the legal rights' mayhem this could have on impending trials:

“Had the officers entered the home and found the occupants only baking cupcakes, the officers would not have bothered to then obtain the warrant at all … It was only after unlawfully entering and finding suspicious activity that they felt the need to then secure the warrant in order to cover their tracks and collect the evidence without the taint of their entry … Search warrants may now be based on predictions of the commission of future crimes.”

Is this indeed a violation of American privacy?

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