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Mapp V. Ohio, 1961


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#1 yano

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Posted 17 November 2005 - 10:46 PM

In May 1957, three police officers arrived at Dollrree Mapp's home after having received a tip that a fugitive had hidden there. Mapp, who had phoned her attorney, refused to admit the police officers. They notified their headquarters, and the officers began their surveillance of the house.

Three hours later, four more police officers arrived. They knocked on the door, and when Mapp did not immediately answer, they forced the door and entered. Mapp demanded to see a search warrant. One of the officers held up a piece of paper, claimed it was the warrant. Mapp snatched the paper and stuffed it into her blouse. After a scuffle, the officers recovered the paper and handcuffed Mapp.

While this was transpiring, Mapp’s attorney arrived, but the police refused to let him enter the house or have access to his client. The police then began to search the house. They did not find a fugitive in the house; however, in the course of their search which covered the entire residence, they turned up some material they deemed obscene. Mapp was charged and eventually convicted of having lewd and lascivious books and pictures in her possession, a violation of an Ohio statue.

At her trial, the state produced no search warrant, but the failure to produce one went explained. Mapp was convicted of having violated the Ohio law. On appeal, the Ohio Supreme Court upheld the conviction even though the evidence against her had been illegally seized. Mapp appealed her case to the United States Supreme Court.


Also further down the page:

Since the 1914 decision in Weeks v. United States, illegally evidence could not be used in federal courts.


Source: Obtained from a worksheet in government class.


So do you think Mapp’s 4th amendment rights were violated? What about 5th amendment?

Personally if I were on the case I would go in favor of Mapp. Her 4th amendment rights were violated, and not only but she couldn’t see her lawyer. That is another violation of rights separated of the 4th amendment, that more of your Miranda rights.

Oh well, Thank God the ruling was in favor of Mapp. The United States Supreme Court voted 6 to 3 in favor of Mapp.

Here is the what is from the worksheet about the ruling:

The Court voted 6 to 3 to reverse the Ohio Supreme Court’s decision. Justice Tom C. Clark wrote for the majority:
“In the extending the substantive protection of due process to all constitutionally unreasonable searches—state or federal—it was logically and constitutionally necessary that the exclusion doctrine—an essential part of the right to privacy—be also insisted upon…In other words, privacy without the exclusionary rule would be a hollow right…” The Court held that this right could not continue to tolerate the admission of unlawfully seized evidence.”

The Mapp decision was seen by the Court as the end of double standard by which “a federal prosecutor may make no use of evidence illegally seized, but a State’s attorney cross the may…” Justice Clark wrote that this decision also ended unfortunate situation in which “the State, by admitting evidence unlawfully seized, serves to encourage disobedience to the Federal Constitution which it is bound to uphold.”

Clark was aware that the Court’s ruling would sometimes result in criminals going free because of an error on the part of the police. To this possibility he responded, “The criminal goes free, it he must, but it is the law that sets him free. Nothing can destroy a government more quickly than its failure to observe its own laws, or worse, its disregard of the charter of its own existence.”


Pretty powerful stuff, eh?

Edited by yano, 18 November 2005 - 03:38 PM.


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#2 ScHwErV

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Posted 18 November 2005 - 11:38 AM

Actually miranda only guarantees you the right to an attorney during questioning, not during the arrest process itself.

Illegal search and seizure is all you have here, nothing more.

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