Supreme Court case

Narcotics Detective

Imagine yourself as a narcotics detective. You are told by an informant that a man by the name of Joe Parker is growing marijuana in his basement. He goes on to tell you that the basement has windows, but they appear to be blacked out, preventing anyone from seeing inside. As a knowledgeable narcotics detective, you know that extreme heat is used to keep the marijuana plants healthy. You decide to use a thermal imaging device to see if there is excessive heat coming from the basement. You park in front of his house and turn on the device. It registers extreme levels of heat emanating from the basement. Based on that information, you obtain a search warrant and locate the marijuana. In preparing your paperwork, it is brought to your attention that these events are identical to an actual U.S. Supreme Court case. Research Kyllo v. United States, 533 U.S. 27 (2001), to guide how you would approach this case.

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  • A. What elements from Kyllo v. United States will impact your ability to develop an ethical investigation? Be sure to explain your response.
  • B. Examine how the use of thermal imaging technology has impacted detectives, both positively and negatively, in performing ethical investigations in drug‐related cases?
  • C. If you were the judge in the Kyllo case, what would be the constitutional parameters that would influence how you would rule? Why would these influence your ruling?

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