Hot Checks and Herring

One of the many criticisms of the disastrous Herring opinion, is that SCOTUS missed a chance to promote accuracy and accountability in government databases. The result of SCOTUS misguided, illogical, and dangerous opinion in Herring is that innocent people will be arrested on recalled warrants, fake warrants, and other database errors.

After all there is inherent accuracy in government work. Why would the State improve database accuracy if their is no sanction for mistakes?

I saw a glimpse of the Herring future today. I was in misdemeanor court when a female defendant approached the bench crying. Apparently, this lady had written some bad checks. She had a deal with the DA that if she paid off the checks all charges would be dismissed.

From what I could gather, the defendant had paid her debts, but a warrant was issued by mistake. She was arrested and severely traumatized by the experience.

I didn’t stick around to see the ending or verify this defendant’s story. Regardless of the outcome of this defendant’s case Herring guarantees that similar situations will play themselves out across the country.

If anything, law enforcement has an incentive to keep a faulty database. Drug enforcement benefits from the quantity of arrest warrants, not quality. Even a faulty warrant gives the police the chance to arrest a few more suspects, hoping for another meaningless dope bust.

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