Dr. Totten Recently Co-Authors Article in Criminal Law, Justice and Criminology edition of Law Journal
KENNESAW, Ga. (Sep 19, 2018) — Dr. Christopher Totten, Assoc. Prof. of Criminal Justice (Law) and MSCJ Director, and Dr. Sutham Cobkit, member of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities at Mahidol University, had an article co-published in the annual Criminal Law, Justice and Criminology edition of the Manitoba Law Journal, a publication of the Faculty of Law, University of Manitoba, Canada. This peer-reviewed journal has an approximate 33% acceptance rate for article submissions, and ranks 37 of 59 (top 63%) among all refereed, general law journals world-wide. The Article is entitled "Police Vehicle Searches under the Fourth Amendment: Evaluating Chiefs’ Perceptions of Search Policies and Practices after Arizona v Gant." The article consists of an empirical (survey) study examining police chiefs’ perception of law enforcement practices and policies related to numerous types of vehicle searches, including searches incident to arrest under Gant. The citation is --- Totten, C.D. & Cobkit, S. (2018). Police vehicle searches under the Fourth Amendment: Evaluating chiefs’ perceptions of search policies and practices after Arizona v. Gant. Manitoba Law Journal, 41, 49-75. The article abstract is as follows ---
In 2009, in Arizona v. Gant, the United States Supreme Court significantly changed the Fourth Amendment norms governing police searches of vehicles incident to arrest. To date, there is no known empirical study of police practices and policies regarding these norms. This survey study aims to fill this “gap” by surveying police chiefs from large, populated U.S. cities concerning their perceptions of police practices and policies in the area of vehicle searches, in particular vehicle searches incident to arrest. Specifically, the study aims to examine chiefs’ perceptions of the frequency with which police officers search vehicles under Gant/search incident doctrine compared to other procedures for searching vehicles under the Fourth Amendment (i.e., the impoundment/inventory procedure, the automobile search exception, the consent search exception, and searches under warrant). In addition, the survey explores chiefs’ perceptions regarding the implications of Gant for police vehicle searches incident to arrest specifically and police vehicle searches more broadly. In general, the study’s detailed findings align with current Fourth Amendment norms in the police vehicle search context; that is, chief perception of officer policies and practices related to vehicle searches aligns with Fourth Amendment requirements in this area, including search incident to arrest law under Gant. In addition, almost half of the chiefs surveyed indicated that officers have searched vehicles less often incident to arrest because of Gant. This latter finding is noteworthy, and appears to align with the limitations imposed by Gant on vehicle searches incident to arrest. Various implications of the findings for the police and the judiciary are explored.