Interesting Comment On Pennsylvania v. Dunlap:
It's tricky ground to credit anonymous blog comments, but the earlier thread on Chief Justice Roberts's dissent from denial of certiorari in Pennsylvania v. Dunlap brought out an interesting comment by "Anon Philly ADA" that I wanted to highlight. An excerpt:
I argue Dunlap motions every couple of days, so . . . I thought I'd share a few thoughts for some of the commenters above.A few readers in the thread were also puzzled as to why Roberts wrote the dissent in such an exaggerated style. I can't be sure; perhaps it was just to be entertaining. But I would think that a dissent from denial of certiorari that gets a lot of media attention would be highly likely to be read closely by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justices. In contrast, I'm not sure sure that the same would be true with a dissent from denial of certiorari that the media ignored. While I personally think that first paragraph was a bit much — did we really need "tough as a three dollar steak" to enter the legal lexicon? — it was entertaining enough to have been picked up by the MSM and read pretty widely around the legal blogosphere.
First, Dunlap probably doesn't let a lot of drug dealers go free. It lets a lot of drug users go free. Our office refers to Dunlap motions as "first buyer motions" because it's pretty difficult to get the first buyer convicted. The second and third and fourth buyers are no problem, and neither is the dealer if there are several observed sales. Usually the cops will wait around for a couple of observed sales anyway (or will use a confidential informant, not an undercover officer, over a period of time), or will get some other evidence of dealing (scales, large amounts of cash) through a search warrant.
. . . . The makeup of the PA Supreme Court has changed since Dunlap and it's possible that they'll reverse the decision themselves when the right case is brought up on appeal. Or at least that's what we're all hoping for. Until then, don't worry, we'll keep trying to put away the bad guys.