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Join the conversation! There are now 20 comments on this chapter's page 98. Plain View vs. Warrant Requirement. What are your thoughts?
  1. Scarry. I think I was happier when I knew less about the law…

    • You’re really not in any danger of having the police seize your stuff unless it’s illegal. The police do need to have the ability to enforce the laws more than people should have the ability to commit crimes.

      • Look up “civil asset forfeiture.”
        Good examples are Kentucky and now Michigan, which is “responding” to insurance scammers by PRESUMING the owner of the car is “in” on the scam, and towing (stealing) the car for lack of insurance.
        Note it need not be on a public road, nor even DRIVEN, at time of seizure.

        Kentucky is on a “major drug corridor” and has made hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars by stealing (correct word) people’s money and vehicles.
        Those two states aren’t unique, either. New York City started seizing your car if you were SUSPECTED of being drunk. Hitch it up before you even blow.
        New Jersey has been famous for asset forfeiture as well, among other abuses of power.
        Connecticut as well.

        There is no CRIME committed; you aren’t charged. Your PROERTY is charged (and it has included such things as taking cash that had a bank receipt present at the scene, mind.) Cars, houses, boats, motorcycles, too. They can’t convict YOU of a crime, but you are PRESUMED to have gotten the cash through illegal means…. So they charge the PROPERTY. And usually, the pig department gets 50%, and the feds get the other 50% – or sometimes, the locality gets MORE.

        Policing for profit.
        No crime needed.

        In some ways, I think the author/artist is writing it for “as it should be,” sort of like the class examples in “Rodney Dangerfield’s Back to School.” Talking economics, the professor is explaining how to estimate the cost. Professor has never worked an honest job in his life – and Rodney schools him in 30 seconds, listing each and every bribe, re-work, overtime hour, down to the penny, that would result in the “cost overages” to get the job done on time. Not on budget, mind, and “on time” meant when HE figured it’d be done and all the thieves paid off – not when the CHART said the building would be done…

      • “The news that they have nothing to fear is guaranteed to strike fear into the hearts of innocents everywhere.”
        -Terry Pratchett, The Fifth Elephant

  2. Dr. Calamity says

    Is it just me, or is Cueball’s head a little off in the last panel?

  3. Craig! says

    Is there an exception to that second requirement if, say, the cop looks in a window and sees somebody pointing a gun at somebody else?

  4. WJS says

    I think the parallel to frisks is a bit of a stretch. I mean, groping someone like that is a little more than your average person is allowed to do, and is clearly a deliberate search rather than just happening to notice something while doing something else.

    • It’s not a parallel, it’s the rule. During a frisk, the police are only allowed to pat down the outside of your clothing, not search underneath it. But if, however, while lawfully patting down the outside of your clothing, they plainly feel something that is obviously evidence of a crime, then they’re allowed to go under the clothes to seize it. This is literally called “plain feel.”

      • But aren’t they going somewhere they wouldn’t otherwise be allowed to go (under your clothes) in order to seize it? That seems a little bit like entering a house to seize evidence that you saw through a window.

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