Mapp V. Ohio

CRJU 310 Judge Oberholzer April 12, 2009 Mapp v. Ohio * Mapp v. Ohio * 367 U. S. 643 * (1961) * Character of Action Mrs. Mapp was found guilty and sentenced to prison 1-7 years. Mrs. Mapp and her attorney took the case to the Supreme Court in Ohio. * Facts: Three police officers went to Dollree Mapp’s house asking permission to enter into her house, because they believed that she was hiding a fugitive in her home. When she did not allow the police officers into her home, the police officers left and came back three hours later with a search warrant.
When Ms. Mapp asked the police officer if she could see the warrant, he held up a piece of paper that was believed to be a fake warrant. The police officer handcuffed Ms. Mapp for “resisting arrest”. As the police officers looked around her house, they did not find any fugitive but they did find pornographic material in a suitcase that was by Mrs. Mapp’s bed. Mrs. Mapp told the police officers that the pornographic material was not hers but that it belonged to another individual that she had loaned the suitcase too. Mrs.
Mapp was arrested, found guilty and sentenced for having pornographic material. * Issues: A. Was the issuance of the warrant by the police officer invalid in violation of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments? YES. B. In the absence of a warrant, may a search and seizure take place in a person’s home without their consent? NO. C. Is evidence obtained, without a warrant, from voluntary submission of a third party inadmissible in a court of law in violation of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments? NO. * Decision: The Court held that the exclusionary rule, which prevents unconstitutionally btained evidence from being introduced at trial, applies to states as well as to the federal government. * Majority Opinion: (by Justice Clark) Issue (A) — Yes. Reasons: i. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that a “neutral and detached magistrate” must issue a warrant. ii. Justice Clark declared, “The exclusionary rule should also apply to states, saying that states are not permitted to use evidence gained by illegal means to convict a person. With a 6-3 vote of approval, Mapp’s case was overturned and the law was forever changed”. Issue (B) — No. Reasons: i.

Justice Clark declared, “We hold that all evidence obtained by searches and seizures in violation of the Constitution [is] inadmissible in a state court… Were it otherwise… the assurance against unreasonable… searches and seizures would be [meaningless]”. Mrs. Mapp at the time of her arrest was not issue a warrant just a piece of paper. The police officers still searched her house without her consent. 09. Concerning Opinion: by (Justice Black) Justice Black shares the doubt that “The Fourth Amendment alone can be used to prevent illegally obtained evidence from being used in state courts because it is not explicitly stated.
Justice Black also believes the command that no unreasonable searches or seizures be allowed is too little to infer such a large decision. With these differences aside Justice Black feels that along with previous court decisions that the “Fourth Amendment’s ban against unreasonable searches and seizures is considered together with the Fifth Amendment’s ban against compelled self-incrimination, a constitutional basis emerges which not only justifies, but actually requires the exclusionary rule. Concurring/Dissenting Opinion: (by Justice Clark, whom the Chief Justice joins) These two justices, Clark and Brennan came to an agreement with Mrs. Mapp that her rights as a citizen of the United States were violated. Both Justices used the Fourth Amendment and that is evidence obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment, which protects against “unreasonable searches and seizures”, may not be used in criminal prosecutions in state courts, as well as federal courts. Concurring/Dissenting Opinion: (by Chief Black)
Justice Black found that the case was a combination of the Fourth and Fifth Amendment and not with the Fourteenth Amendment. Justice Black turned out to be the swing vote. Even though, he joined the Court’s opinion he did it for his own reasons. For the reason, Justice Black wrote a separate opinion that was not joined by any other justice. Concurring/Dissenting Opinion: (by Justice Stewart) Justice Stewart wrote the majority opinion in Elkins. Yet, he refused to join the Court’s opinion. He did vote with the majority to reverse Mrs. Mapp’s conviction. 10. Comment:
Mapp v. Ohio is an important case that made history. For the reason it has to do the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment. All evidence obtained by searches and seizures in violation of the Federal Constitution is inadmissible in a criminal trial in a state court. Wolf v. Colorado, 338 U. S. 25, overruled insofar as it holds to the contrary. Pp. 367 U. S. 643-660. (A) A warrant must be issued by a “neutral and detached magistrate” who is not involved in either the investigation or prosecution of the suspect upon whom such a warrant is issued (Harvard Law Review, Vol. 5(3), 1971, pp. 239-250). (B) At the trial, no search warrant was produced by the prosecution, nor was the failure to produce one explained or accounted for. At best, “There is, in the record, considerable doubt as to whether there ever was any warrant for the search of defendant’s home. ” 170 Ohio St. at 430, 166 N. E. 2d at 389. The Ohio Supreme Court believed a “reasonable argument” could be made that the conviction should be reversed “because the methods’ employed to obtain the [evidence] . . . here such as to `offend “a sense of justice,”‘” but the court found determinative the fact that the evidence had not been taken “from defendant’s person by the use of brutal or offensive physical force against defendant. ” 170 Ohio St. at 431, 166 N. E. 2d at 389-390. Mrs. Mapp took a stand against the police officers because she felt she was doing nothing wrong. The police officers assumed that Mrs. Mapp was involved in hiding a fugitive as well as in hiding some illegal betting equipment. When the police officers got to Mrs.
Mapp’s house they asked to go in she said “no”. Three hours later the police officers came back with a piece of paper (not a search warrant) when Mrs. Mapp asked to see the warrant she had to struggle to get it. The judges overturned the conviction because the police officers had violated the fourth Amendment. 11. Principle of the Case: A warrant issued by any public official, other than “neutral and detached magistrate” is invalid in violation of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments. A person’s home cannot be searched without their consent or without a search warrant.


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