Kyllo Danny vs. The United States

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Kyllo Danny vs. The United States Appealed From: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals (190 F.3d 1041) Oral Argument: 2000 term (after Jan. 1, 2001) The main subject in the Kyllo case deals with the advance in modern technology and how it relates to constitutional law. The overall question in this case is whether or not the use of thermal imaging technology should be used as a tool for searching the home of a person. The argument by the appellant, Mr. Kyllo, uses the unreasonable search and seizure clause of the Fourth Amendment as a defense against the use of thermal imaging systems without a warrant to search for illegal drug production inside his home. Kyllo v. U.S. is currently pending before the United States Supreme Court so the objective of this essay is to explain the procedural history of this case and to predict a final result and the implications of that prediction. The question presented to the court is: Does the 4th Amendment protect against the warrantless use of a thermal imaging device which monitors heat emissions from a person’s private residence? As with any case, before any court, it is important to understand all aspects of a case. For example, the facts, procedural history, issues, holding(s), legal reasoning, sources of law, and values are all relevant to predicting a potential outcome as the U.S. Supreme Court sees it. The facts and procedural history of the case are as follows. On January 16, 1992, at 3:20 a.m., Sergeant Daniel Haas of the Oregon National Guard examined, from his parked car, a triplex of houses where Kyllo lived. The full nature of the examination involved the use of an Agema Thermovision 210 thermal imaging device to “look” for heat generated from inside the home ... ... middle of paper ... this type of case. If the District Court Judgement is affirmed it is possible that other technological advances such as satellite photography and video will invade the privacy of Americans. If the Supreme Court holds with the trend of the United States District Court of Oregon and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals then the ultimate interpretation of the 4th Amendment will be precedent for future search and seizure cases involving technological monitoring. For this reason I believe that the U.S. Supreme Court will overturn the Circuit Courts affirmation. The consequences for a reversal of the Circuit Courts decision are few. The 4th Amendment would still protect the rights of citizens. The negative aspect is that some drug dealers will go unnoticed. This is only a slight inconvenience given that thermal imaging may still be used if a warrant is obtained.
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