Can ''Seriousness'' of An Offense Legitimize Police Conduct ?

In People v. Gaines, 220 Ill. App. 3d 310, 320, 163 Ill. Dec. 263, 581 N.E.2d 214 (1991), the police went to the defendant's home based on information they received regarding an aggravated criminal sexual assault. After the police knocked on the door, the defendant opened the door and was arrested. The court held that there was no improper conduct by the law enforcement officers and that the defendant lost the privacy he could have expected inside his home by coming to the door. Gaines, 220 Ill. App. 3d at 319. Similarly, in People v. Smith, 152 Ill. 2d 229, 178 Ill. Dec. 335, 604 N.E.2d 858 (1992), police officers investigating a murder knocked on defendant's apartment door. The defendant answered the door and identified himself. The officers then pulled him out into the hallway and arrested him. The court found the officer's conduct to have been reasonable due to the existence of several exigent circumstances including the seriousness of the offense, and the peaceable way in which the police effectuated the arrest.