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The October 1999 Term was a year of consolidation in the law of police investigations in constitutional criminal procedure. In four short and compact opinions – three supported by sizeable majorities and three written by the Chief Justice – the Supreme Court synthesized and consolidated its criminal procedure jurisprudence, and offered clear guidance to law enforcement officers and private citizens alike. Miranda warnings are required by the Fifth Amendment, and the police must continue to "Mirandize" citizens before conducting any custodial interrogations. Reasonable suspicion under the Fourth Amendment calls for a totality-of-the-circumstances test, and a citizen's flight from the police in a high crime neighborhood amounts to reasonable suspicion sufficient to justify a Terry stop and frisk. In contrast, a tip from an anonymous informant merely describing a suspect does not give rise to reasonable suspicion. The reasonable expectation of privacy test continues to govern whether the Fourth Amendment protections are triggered, and travelers have a reasonable expectation of privacy in opaque soft-sided luggage.


Constitutional Law | Criminal Procedure | Fourth Amendment | Law