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Penn State Law

Probable cause

2013

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Getting Beyond Intuition In The Probable Cause Inquiry, Erica R. Goldberg Jan 2013

Getting Beyond Intuition In The Probable Cause Inquiry, Erica R. Goldberg

Journal Articles

Courts are proudly resigned to the fact that the probable cause inquiry is “nontechnical.” In order to conduct a search or make an arrest, police need to satisfy the probable cause standard, which the Supreme Court has deemed “incapable of precise definition or quantification into percentages.” The flexibility of this standard enables courts to defer to police officers’ reasonable judgments and expert intuitions in unique situations. However, police officers are increasingly using investigative techniques that replace their own observational skills with test results from some other source, such as drug sniffing dogs, facial recognition technology, and DNA matching. The reliability ...