Court Says Iowa Parole Deals Can't Mandate Searches


By Liz Blood

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Supreme Court says routine agreements that require offenders released on parole to submit to warrantless police searches are unconstitutional.

The court invalidated a provision Friday in agreements signed by inmates before they're paroled in which they consent to be searched by officers "at any time, with or without a search warrant."

In a 5-2 decision, the court says the agreements are coercive because they require inmates to give up their constitutional rights to be free from unreasonable search in order to gain their freedom.

Dissenting Justice Edward Mansfield said he fears the ruling will discourage corrections officials from granting parole to inmates who deserve it. He says the ruling could make it harder for parole officials to check on convicted drug dealers and other felons who are released.

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