In the opening scene of the September 6th episode of Rizzoli and Isles, detectives are staring at a car with an obvious murder victim. They then say that they are unable to investigate the car and murder victim closely because they lack a search warrant. One detective indicates that the judges are on an extended holiday weekend so the search warrant will not be available and Rizzoli makes a quick joke about judges and long holidays. This leads to the question of whether or not the police actually need a search warrant to search a car that is clearly the scene of a murder. While according to Mincey v. Arizona there is no murder-scene investigation exception to the warrant rule, the ruling wouldn’t apply to a clear murder scene in a vehicle. The murder victim was in plain view of the police officers. According to the plain view doctrine, the police officers would then be authorized to search the vehicle without a warrant making the entire exchange between Rizzoli and the detective as an entertainment filler. While it was an interesting opening scene, it was just an example of the creative liberties that television writers make in crime thrillers.

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