Pubdate: Tue, 02 Dec 2003
Source: Macon Telegraph (GA)
Copyright: 2003 The Macon Telegraph Publishing Company
Author: John G. Kelley Jr.


The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals did a mighty fine job of defending 
our Constitution recently when it ruled a South Georgia deputy made an 
illegal search during a traffic stop yielding 10,000 pills of Ecstasy and 
two packages of marijuana.

The arrest occurred when an over-zealous law officer pulled over Jody James 
Boyce, driving a rented car well under the speed limit, on the pretense of 
weaving in traffic. Boyce refused the officer's request to search his car, 
and a drug-sniffing dog was called in which detected hidden drugs in the trunk.

The court rightfully ruled there was not sufficient evidence for the 
officer to hold Boyce until he could get a drug-sniffing dog to the scene. 
The right of a citizen to travel upon our highways unmolested is superior 
to the right of a peace officer indiscriminately searching vehicles for 

Boyce had conditionally plea-bargained earlier this year because he 
rightfully believed his detention and search was illegal. He may now 
request a trial and the prosecution cannot use the confiscated drugs 
against him. Drug traffic and usage is tormenting America, but it pales in 
the face of a police state gone awry.

There is no such thing as a consensual search of a vehicle by an armed 
peace officer in the middle of the night on an interstate highway. The 
court must continue moving toward protecting our freedom, by prohibiting 
such searches in the absence of an arrest.

There are much better ways to bust drug dealers.

John G. Kelley Jr.

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