Thursday, April 6, 2017

E is for Evidence Excluded

 
Mapp v. Ohio
[June 19, 1961, decision 6-3]

Officers went to Ms. Dollree Mapp's home and asked for entrance, believing evidence of a bombing [at the home of Don King, who would later become a famous boxing promoter] was located inside.  Mapp refused.  The officers left but came back later and pretended to have a warrant, which in fact they did not have.  When Mapp did not let them in, they broke down the door and searched the residence.  Police found obscene materials in the basement, which were used at her trial and she was convicted.

The Supreme Court ruled that evidence obtained by the police in violation of the accused's constitutional rights under the Fourth Amendment is inadmissible at trial.  This is commonly called the Exclusionary Rule.  This case applied the rule both to federal prosecutions and state prosecutions.

Ms. Mapp's conviction was set aside.  She did have several additional brushes with the law, and died in 2014.
 

https://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/10/us/dollree-mapp-who-defied-police-search-in-landmark-case-is-dead.html


Did you guess right?
Here's Friday's hint - F is for Firearms and Fingerprints.  Can you guess the case and what it's about?  Leave a comment!

20 comments:

  1. Cops think they can get away with anything don't they. Well, at least some of them. No idea on the next case.

    @msdeniseh553
    Denise at My Life in Retirement Euromast Tower, Rotterdam

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    1. Before this case, apparently they did. But presumably not any more.

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  2. That's awful - and scary! To think law enforcement can muscle their way in like that. Not cool.

    Once again, no clue what you have planned for Friday's "F" post. :)

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    1. Yes, this case was definitely needed.

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  3. Wow! This case intrigues me! I wonder how many cases there are like this! No guess for the next one! I wish I knew more!

    http://authenticallylivinglife.blogspot.com/2017/04/e-is-for-educational-risks.html

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    1. Hopefully we don't need any more cases like this, because either the police don't do it any more [don't hold your breath] and because the courts now will exclude anything obtained like this. Come back tomorrow and learn more =)

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  4. Okay, help me out. I'm not sure if I got this one right or not. Based on your clue, here's what I thought the case would be, so I'm not sure if there's a separate case for my guess or if it'd be included under your example here.

    My guess was that if you have a search warrant for X and you find Y, you cannot arrest the person for Y or use any of the Y evidence found at the ensuing trial. That is, if you want a search warrant, you have to say what you're searching for. So, if I'm searching for a Smith & Wesson firearm and I stumble upon meth-making equipment, I can't do anything about the meth lab.

    Are we talking about the same thing or does my example come with a different Supreme Court decision? And can I take any longer to explain myself? Sheesh!

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    1. So long as the police find Y in plain view in the location where they were searching for X, they'll be fine. Otherwise not. The application for search warrant must recite facts giving probable cause that they will find specific evidence/items in the specific location they want to search. Whatever they find there in plain view is admissible. So if they're investigating a murder, and they have facts to show probable cause that they'll find a gun and a bloody shirt in John Q. Public's house, and a judge signs the warrant, and they search John Q. Public's house and find a meth lab, that's admissible UNLESS John Q. Public's attorney can successfully attack the warrant and show they didn't have good faith and probable cause to get the warrant [for example if they lied on the declaration].

      This page is good
      https://www.justia.com/criminal/docs/search-seizure-faq.html

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  5. I think it's really important that you're doing these posts, especially given what is currently happening with the Supreme Court. People don't understand these decisions can directly impact lives.

    Thanks for educating!

    A to Z Challenge: Entertainment! TV Talk>

    Isa-Lee Wolf

    A Bit 2 Read
    @IsaLeeWolf

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    1. I thought it was a good topic and I'm glad you think so too! Yes those nine justices of the Supreme Court makes decisions that impact all of our lives.

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  6. I definitely see this ploy--pretending to have a search warrant--used a lot in detective fiction. I wonder how many people like the woman in this case challenge it.

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    1. If the defendant has an attorney, it's one of the first things the attorney will look for. So if you or a friend or family member ever find yourself in this type of a situation, find an attorney. I was a law clerk at the Public Defender's office in my last year of law school, and this is one of the things I did for the office while I was there.

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  7. Replies
    1. Even if she was obviously "guilty", the fact that the police trampled on her rights is never a good thing. We have rights and we need to protect them.

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  8. Wow, I took a constitutional law class as an undergraduate, and I remember the name of this case, but had forgotten what it was about. Thanks for reminding me. And I'm going to check out some of your links over there on the left, especially those "hilarious cease and desist orders."

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    1. Congrats on remembering this case! You must have been paying attention in class =)

      I loved those cease and desist letters. I hope you enjoy them also.

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  9. I think this stuff is WAY over my head! o_O But I'll keep reading!

    Calen~
    Impromptu Promptlings
    A to Z Challenge Letter F

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    1. I hope you keep reading. It's probably not over your head, just stuff you're not used to reading. Hopefully you'll find it interesting and informative. Thanks for stopping by!

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