Friday, April 29, 2005

I heard that!

From my first stop in the morning, CrimProf Blog:

State and federal prosecutors applied for 1,710 wire taps last year, a dramatic increase over prior years. Wiretap applications are similar to search warrants, and require a demonstration of probable cause that incriminating conversations will be recorded. Every single wiretap application submitted to a judge last year in this country was approved. Every single one? When I was a federal prosecutor, some judges would approve a wiretap application after a quick skim-read, as they can be lengthy and time-consuming. One federal judge, who shall remain nameless, looked at the size of the application and asked me, "Is there probable cause here?" When I said yes, he started to sign it without reading a word. I had to respectfully ask him to read it. But most judges really busted my chops on the probable cause issue. All 1,710 applications approved? Have our judges become rubber stamps after 9/11? Story . . . [Mark Godsey]


Am I the only one who read this and said "Woo hoo!"? Every app was accepted! That's outstanding!

First of all, ignore the fact that there were 1,710 wiretaps and concentrate on the fact that on 1,710 occasions, we conducted a "search" with total due process from the court. This isn't even a story about law enforcement playing fast and loose with search and seizure considerations. This is 1,710 cases of the system doing what the system is supposed to do.

Some people may worry that innocent people will be tapped. I'm okay with that. If nothing else, it will help prove your innocence that much quicker. Also, I highly doubt that Gladys Abernathy, octogenarian from Macon, Georgia will have her phone tapped by the big mean FBI. I suspect it will be males ages 18-34 with names like Mohammed, Ackbar, and Bin Laden, who make frequent calls and trips to the Middle East and who just signed up for flight school.

And you know something? If I moved to Japan and then one day 20 young white Christian males who watched professional wrestling with unhealthy fervor suddenly blew up Tokyo, I would expect to have my phone tapped too. Hell, I'd probably request to have my phone tapped just so that I'm totally above board.

Besides, they are going to be very bored listening in on my calls. I hate the phone.

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