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Discussion Starter #1
Jerry Feaser will be on WHP 580 AM Radio at 3 PM to talk about this...

A proposal to set limits on searches and seizures by Pennsylvania Game Commission officers has passed the state Senate and is on its way to Gov. Ed Rendell's desk.
The bill, authored by Rep. Bryan Cutler of Peach Bottom, would allow wildlife conservation offices to stop vehicles or conduct searches only when there's "reasonable suspicion" of a violation.
The measure also allows for searches at routine road checkpoints.
"This brings the searching and seizure provisions of the game code in line with state police and any other law enforcement official," said Cutler. "The statute as drafted was unconstitutional."
The state Senate unanimously approved House Bill 181 on Monday. The House unanimously passed the measure in June of 2009.
Gary Tuma, a spokesman for Rendell, said the governor intends to sign the legislation into law.

Read more: http://articles.lancasteronline.com/local/4/294763#ixzz10qhpJ8yt
 

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The measure also allows for searches at routine road checkpoints.
They can search your vehicle during a check point? how is that inline with other law enforcement?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Kinda..adds some more limits to WCOs where they can go, etc.. (no curtilage) and means if Courts did back off of current requirements, they would still be legislatively limited.
 

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Listened to most of it. You made a point of trying to downplay the PGC's conviction rate, by bringing up the number of citations that are paid, rather than contested, based on the presumption that most were paid in lieu of hiring an attorney to fight them.

There are probably less than 200 WCOs issuing citations, that account for that conviction rate of roughly 96%.

Contrast that with the thousands of PSP troopers issuing far more citations and put some spin on how many of their uncontested citations fall under your presumption of "cutting one's losses/paying the fines"?

Does PSP have a higher or lower rate of "convictions", compared to PGC's success rate?
 

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Listened to most of it. You made a point of trying to downplay the PGC's conviction rate, by bringing up the number of citations that are paid, rather than contested, based on the presumption that most were paid in lieu of hiring an attorney to fight them.
I reckon that will be tested in the future....now some folks will have motivation to contest it. Unless they want to willingly give up their gun ownership rights.
 

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This bill changes nothing about the way a WCO works. They have always followed the same search and seizure laws that any other LE agency has.
 

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Except now if a WCO acting on a complaint drives into someone's driveway and sees an unlawful animal in plain sight, it will be challenged in court because it was inside the curtilage of the suspects home. Even if the officer left and obtained a search warrant it can be challenged because the officer was inside the curtilage when he saw it. This is a defense attorny's dream and an officer's nightmare.
 

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cowboyE said:
This bill changes nothing about the way a WCO works. They have always followed the same search and seizure laws that any other LE agency has.
You sure about that? You may wanna dig a little deeper... For some reason, WCO and particularly back in the day game wardens tramped all over 4th Amendment rights. So much so that the PSP used to call for their "assistance" in searching a car. I don't care whether one is looking for drugs, stolen property or an illegally taken game animals. The 4th Amendment is the 4th Amendment. I am as big a hater of poachers and others who violate game laws, however we have the Bill of Rights for a reason!
 

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Back in the day being the operative words there.
 

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CJBS2003 said:
cowboyE said:
This bill changes nothing about the way a WCO works. They have always followed the same search and seizure laws that any other LE agency has.
You sure about that? You may wanna dig a little deeper... For some reason, WCO and particularly back in the day game wardens tramped all over 4th Amendment rights. So much so that the PSP used to call for their "assistance" in searching a car. I don't care whether one is looking for drugs, stolen property or an illegally taken game animals. The 4th Amendment is the 4th Amendment. I am as big a hater of poachers and others who violate game laws, however we have the Bill of Rights for a reason!
Some may have, I sure as heck don't. I'm not wasting my time prosecuting a case that will be dismissed because of illegally obtained evidence. I have never worked with a game officer that didn't follow constitutional constraints on search and seizure.
 

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Back when a you could search a vehicle because it was considered exigent circumstances. That means that if evidence was in a vehicle it was mobile and it could be driven away before the evidence was found. When the courts narrowed the scope of exigent circumstances the PGC stopped searching vehicles without a warrant or consent. The PGC stopped doing warrantless searches before the old Game law was replaced by the Game and Wildlife Code, the Game Law allowed warrantless searches but the court decisions took precedence Next question.
 

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CJBS2003 said:
cowboyE said:
This bill changes nothing about the way a WCO works. They have always followed the same search and seizure laws that any other LE agency has.
You sure about that? You may wanna dig a little deeper... For some reason, WCO and particularly back in the day game wardens tramped all over 4th Amendment rights. So much so that the PSP used to call for their "assistance" in searching a car. I don't care whether one is looking for drugs, stolen property or an illegally taken game animals. The 4th Amendment is the 4th Amendment. I am as big a hater of poachers and others who violate game laws, however we have the Bill of Rights for a reason!
How Far Back in "The Day" Was that??

Before PA had the PGC??

And I thought the PGC was a little older then the PSP?? If So, HOW could THAT Be??
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Well John the Constitution does make law enforcement more difficult... That's what the founders wanted, to keep the Leviathan back.
 

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No, what was done to the Game and Wildlife Code goes beyond the constitution, the PSP and Municipal police can enter curtilage in the performance of their dity but the PGC can't. Give me a break Romminger, you know better than that. The rule set down by the courts for constitutional musted is you can't search curtilage without a warrant opr consent, not that you cannot enter curtilage as this amendment dictates.
 
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