gigag04 wrote:Their intent has little bearing on what courts have decided is a GTG detention. The judge I dealt with explicitly stated that rarely to LEOs have the luxury of operating with 100% of the information surrounding a situation. However, as testified by me, he beilieved that it clearly was enough to stop and investigate further.
There are conflicting cases in the court of appeals in TX regarding the issue, however the difference came to the officer's ability to understand the returns given by the database and deduct reasonable conclusions on that information.
The list of folks who have to conduct their lives with less than 100% information is long and distingished; LEOs are not unique in that context.
However, LEOs are unique in that my liberty (and maybe my life) depends on what he does with that (100-X)% information he does have.
That missing percentage can be rationalized into a subjective opinion that carries the full weight of the law. You need only go to traffic court one time to see how that turns out.
The database is inaccurate to some degree, as stated by you, in a different post.
It is possible that the more inaccurate the database is shown to be, the more leeway a police officer will actually have with the court in supporting a decision that further investigation is appropriate. It works in the police's favor that the database has flaws.
If the database were 100% accurate; a police officer (might) have a smaller chance of convincing the court that he/she had a "reasonable suspicion" to stop the vehicle, if the database shows no issues with insurance.
The intent of the legislature is still the key to this issue.
If, as you state, that the intent is not considered by the courts (and by extension, the police), the database is of little use.
Just stop whomever you want and go from there....it's all about "reasonable suspicion" and 51% anyway, right?
If the legislature really intended this to be an adjunct tool, for use when other situations are already in play (circumstances that warrant a police stop); then, in my opinion, both the police and the courts are wrong...actually very wrong that it's use is "reasonable" as the primary reason to stop a vehicle and detain a citizen.
Then, it's just a fishing expedition for evidence of a crime, when none is apparent. Nothing "reasonable" about that.
Blackstone said "better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer".
You really should opt in favor of the likely innocence of the citizen than the likely guilt of the citizen, if you have incomplete facts. Since <51% of the citizenry are criminals, then the "reasonable" conclusion is "likely innocence".
While getting criminals off the streets makes society more comfortable (for a short while); it must be done in such a way as not to trample or abuse the innocent citizens to accomplish that job.
Yeah, it's tough....but no one said maintaining a society where liberty is paramount was easy.
“The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.” – Thomas Jefferson
I'm not a lawyer and this is not legal advice - just my opinion.