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Copyright (c) 1998 Detroit College of Law at Michigan State University Law Review
Detroit College of Law at Michigan State University Law Review

COMMENT: Hot Pursuit: When Police Pursuits Run Over Constitutional Lines

Fall, 1998

1998 Det. C.L. Rev. 857

Author

Erik Savas

Excerpt

INTRODUCTION

The following is a discussion of the confusion that up until recently, deeply fractured the nation's federal courts when confronted with constitutional claims that a police officer's high-speed pursuit of a suspect caused unwarranted injuries to unconnected private parties or bystanders.

The ultimate purpose of this discussion was to assist the courts in adopting a more uniformly applicable standard of conduct in evaluating the constitutionality of a given police pursuit. Thus, the format thought to be best suited to such an effective exploration and ultimate resolution of the issues was to lay out the discussion in comment form. However, when the Supreme Court of the United States decided the law in this area after the completion of this comment, some significant changes to this paper were mandated in order to properly acknowledge and incorporate this momentous decision in our constitutional history.

As such, I have done my best to include some of the important highlights of the decision while simultaneously maintaining the original format of the paper. My only hope is that the paper remains a valuable and useful research tool for the practitioner and law student.

For years, Hollywood cameras have captured the adrenaline-laced tension and high drama of film scenes in which suspects attempt to outrun the clutches of law enforcement. These fictional suspects are usually seen propelling their speeding vehicles through crowded intersections, screaming around corners of blind alleys, and weaving around moving obstacles, all in an effort to elude an unyielding police presence that ...
 
 
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