The Philadelphia Inquirer yesterdayÂ ran a fairly lengthy and detailed piece that illustrates the problems with prosecuting gun crimes in the city. It speaks of the head of Philadelphia’s Gun Court, Judge Paula Patrick. I don’t honestly have enough information on these cases to say whether or not Judge Patrick is insufferably soft on criminals, or is just a stickler for civil liberties and for the police following the law.
It does seem odd though that Pennsylvania would have a rule on “forced abandonment.” Basically, under federal search and seizure law, if a suspect runs from police and tosses a gun, the gun is admissible. Apparently in Pennsylvania, it’s not. It’s one thing if police unlawfully search someone. I can see the civil liberties implications of that. But if you willfully toss something? Is that even a search at this point? It’s hard to see how it could be incident to an unlawful seizure since someone running isn’t exactly seized.
We pay a price for civil liberties. What angers me is that the same people, and I agree with them, that believe in strong Fourth Amendment protections, don’t feel the need to protect the Second Amendment.