Is there any legal precedent for using a psychic to obtain a search warrant for private property?


psychic search

I am working on a hypothetical where a search warrant was obtained to search a house, private property, of drugs, by using the prediction of a psychic that has a 99% success rate. After the warrant was obtained, the drugs were seized. The question is whether the owners 4th amendment rights were violated and is the evidence was illegally seized. I was wondering if there were any court cases at the local or federal level that are loosely along these lines.

3 comments:

  1. estrella

    In many countries, the police do not officially believe that psychics and other paranormal phenomena exist. There is very little in the way of studies into psychics that have turned up a positive result. Psychic premonitions, whether or not they are real, are products of cognition and interpretation, and are removed from the physical scenario. They are easily skewed to any point of view, and if you look at many new-age \paranormal how-to books you can quite clearly see how vague many of the ‘keys’ to predictions are. These factors would probably make sure most of the time that a psychics evidence is disregarded. In the scenario described, it is most likely that the person’s rights would have been violated, and the evidence illegally seized. As for cases, I am neither a lawyer, law student or American, and I have no understanding of the American Constitution. I don’t know of any specific cases, but I think there are some cases in British law that have used psychic precognitions in some degree for evidence, but I only have a very vague memory of the book that I read about them in. I would not think that there are many cases, if any, that were argued in an American court.

  2. Dwain

    No. Psychic intuition is not considered probable cause in obtaining a search warrant. ESP is considered a pseudo-science. This is the same sort of reasoning used in prohibiting lie detector results from being used as admissable evidence in a criminal trial.

  3. mikeysco

    I really like estrella’s answer.

    But…you said you’re working on a hypothetical:

    In your hypothetical situation, where a psychic has a 99% success rate, I’d say you’ve got your search warrant and you’ve got your drugs and you’ve got your conviction.

    99% is mighty high. The standard for an affidavit for search warrant is (if you want to put it in numbers), 51%…in other words, what you want to seize is more than likely where you say it is (more than likely = 51%…though I would never want to go to a judge with only 51%).

    So in your hypothetical situation, where your psychic is proven to be 99% correct, I think a judge would jump at the chance to sign that warrant…it’s better odds than a LOT of warrants that are issued.

    But estrella’s right; it’s junk science. And so I just can’t imagine you can get a psychic to *be* 99% correct, but you did say hypothetical.

    Case law? I doubt it. For all the reasons estrella cites.

    Writing a book? Sounds interesting…maybe even make a good movie.

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