The Idaho Supreme Court recently upheld the Idaho Constitution in ruling that police officers may not arrest without a warrant when they did not personally witness the misdemeanor being committed. Idaho vs. Clarke; Idaho Press, August 25. Not to worry, the police and prosecutors have already got a work-around: The on-scene officer texts the on-duty prosecutor who texts the on-duty judge, who issues a text-message warrant so the arrest can be made. Neat gambit, if somewhat time-consuming.

So… a guy or gal tells the cop, “This is what I saw that other guy or gal do”, and 3 texts later, the cop can make the arrest.

Questions: What is the quality of the evidence by the time the judge sees it? And does it even matter to the judge, who won’t want to risk having more harm ensue by erroneously saying “no”? Is this work-around just a sham to get around the Constitution? Will it be used for less sexy misdemeanors (than domestic violence or DUI) like petit theft or throwing trash in the drain ditch?

The press needs to look into this and report.

Jim Runsvold, Caldwell

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