WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled yesterday against a Kentucky man who was arrested after police burst into his apartment without a search warrant because they smelled marijuana and suspected he was trying to get rid of incriminating evidence.
The justices, in an 8-to-1 vote, reversed a Kentucky Supreme Court ruling that threw out the evidence gathered when officers entered Hollis King’s apartment. The court said there was no violation of King’s constitutional rights because the police acted reasonably. Only Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dissented.
Officers knocked on King’s door in Lexington and thought they heard noises indicating someone inside was trying to get rid of incriminating evidence.
The case concerned exceptions to the Fourth Amendment requirement that police need a warrant to enter a home. The issue was whether warrantless entry was justified as a reaction to the potential destruction of evidence.