The United States Supreme Court in 2012 in United States v. Jones changed the legal test for what constitutes a police search under the Fourth Amendment. After Jones , a search occurs when: (1) an individual’s privacy rights are violated ( “Katz” test); and/or (2) an individual’s property is trespassed upon ( “Jones” test). From 1967 until Jones , only the Katz test was used. In light of this significant change, this study explores two questions using a content analysis approach: (1) the choice of legal test used by federal appellate courts to decide the “search” question (i.e., the Jones test, Katz test, or both tests), and (2) these courts’ holding regarding whether a “search” occurred. Most of these courts are relying upon Jones in some fashion; however, Jones has not prevented these courts from frequently applying Katz . Though reliance on Jones alone has led to uniform determinations by courts of a “search” and hence enhanced Fourth Amendment protections, overall post- Jones there are nearly an equal number of courts finding a “search” and “no search.” When courts apply Katz alone to evaluate a search, they have held no search occurred. In sum, Jones’ impact on Fourth Amendment search law has been incremental and gradual.
The exclusionary rule in the Fourth Amendment knock-and-announce context has been challenged by the U.S. Supreme Court in Hudson v. Michigan . After Hudson , even if police fail to knock and announce prior to entering a person's home to search, any evidence found by police remains admissible at that person's trial. The Court reasoned that today police are better educated, trained, disciplined, and monitored by citizens; as a result, exclusion of evidence is no longer needed as a deterrent for police knock-and-announce misconduct during searches. This paper, using both legal and social scientific methodologies, examines the legitimacy of this aspect of the Court's reasoning by surveying chiefs in large U.S. cities concerning their perceptions of the efficacy and value of the various deterrents to knock-and-announce misconduct (e.g., exclusion, education, training, discipline, and citizen review). The study also surveys the chiefs on their departmental policies and procedures related to the knock-and-announce rule and police searches as well as their knowledge of the rule. The study's outcomes reflected in the paper enhance understanding of the efficacy of the exclusionary rule compared to the alternative deterrents for police knock-and-announce violations during searches.