KyCIR: Kentucky Issued A Search Warrant Reform. Louisville Police Aren’t On Board Yet
October 29, 2020
The Administrative Office of the Courts in Kentucky issued a revised search warrant form that provides designated space for judges to print their name below their signature. The previous form only provided space for a signature from judges asked to approve a warrant before it’s executed by police, and it’s often impossible to discern who signed the warrant, according to a report by the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting and WDRB. After a review of recent search warrants at the Jefferson Circuit Court Clerk’s office, reporters found the Louisville Metro Police Department isn’t using the new forms.
From the article:
But the criminal justice system isn’t one that’s quick to lean in to transparency, said Howard Henderson, a professor of justice administration at Texas Southern University. Because of that, he said, reforms must be legally mandated to be effective.
Henderson said it’s unreasonable to assume law enforcement agencies would take such steps on their own.
“One of the challenges that you have is this is a system that has never been forced to be transparent,” he said. “What you’re asking for, and what should be done, is not a matter of tradition, a matter of custom or a matter of law.”