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Justices hear arguments over K-9 use

Incidents involving drug sniffing K-9s brings reliability and legality into question


The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court is going to the dogs on Halloween.

Justices return to work on Wednesday by hearing arguments in a couple of cases dealing with police dogs and their use in criminal cases in Florida.

In this Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2011, photo, Miami-Dade detective Douglas Bartelt and narcotics detector canine Franky give a demonstration in Miami. (AP Image)
In this Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2011, photo, Miami-Dade detective Douglas Bartelt and narcotics detector canine Franky give a demonstration in Miami. (AP Image)

In one case, the justices will decide whether a Florida police dog's sniff outside the front door of a house with a marijuana growing operation is an illegal search. In the second case, the court will determine whether an indication from a drug-sniffing dog is enough to establish probable cause for a search of a car without additional proof of the dog's reliability.

After hearing arguments on Monday, Justices canceled court on Tuesday because of Hurricane Sandy. The Tuesday arguments will now be heard in a rare Thursday session instead.

Copyright 2012 Associated Press

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