Kentucky v. King

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Kentucky v. King
Seal of the United States Supreme Court.svg
Argued January 12, 2011
Decided May 16, 2011
Full case name Kentucky v. King
Docket nos. 09-1272
Citations 563 U.S. ___ (more)
131 S. Ct. 1849
Prior history defendant convicted (Fayette Co. Cir. Ct.); affirmed, unpublished (Ky. App.); reversed, 302 S.W.3d 649 (Kentucky, 2010).
Holding
Warrantless searches conducted in exigent circumstances do not violate the Fourth Amendment so long as the police did not create the exigency by violating or threatening to violate the Fourth amendment.
Court membership
Case opinions
Majority Alito, joined by Roberts, Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, Breyer, Sotomayor, Kagan
Dissent Ginsburg
Laws applied
Fourth Amendment

Kentucky v. King, 563 U.S. ___ (2011), is a legal dispute that was decided by the US Supreme Court in 2011, holding in an 8-1 opinion that warrantless searches conducted in police-created exigent circumstances do not violate the Fourth Amendment so long as the police did not create the exigency by violating or threatening to violate the Fourth Amendment.

Background[edit]

Police officers in Lexington, Ky., entered an apartment building in pursuit of a suspect who sold crack cocaine to an undercover informant. The officers lost sight of the suspect and mistakenly assumed he entered an apartment from which they could detect the odor of marijuana. After police knocked on the door and identified themselves, they heard movements, which they believed indicated evidence was about to be destroyed. Police forcibly entered the apartment and found Hollis King and others smoking marijuana. They also found cash, drugs and paraphernalia. King entered a conditional guilty plea; reserving his right to appeal denial of his motion to suppress evidence obtained from what he argued was an illegal search.

The Kentucky Court of Appeals affirmed the conviction, holding that exigent circumstances supporting the warrantless search were not of the police's making and that police did not engage in deliberate and intentional conduct to evade the warrant requirement. In January 2010, the Kentucky Supreme Court reversed the lower court order, finding that the entry was improper. The court held that the police were not in pursuit of a fleeing suspect when they entered the apartment since there was no evidence that the original suspect even knew that he was being followed by police.[1]

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