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Brown vs. Texas

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Donald Hopkins
Week 3 homework
Brown vs. Texas
Criminal Procedure and the Constitution
Due date 5/May/2012

Brown vs. Texas was a case heard by the Supreme Court in 1979. It determined that the defendant's arrest in El Paso Texas, for refusal to identify himself in a high crime area, was not based on a reasonable suspicion and violated Mr. Brown’s fourth amendment rights. This was an important case for the stop and identifies statutes in the United States. One afternoon a police cruiser was driving downtown and noticed two men walking away from one another in an alley in an area with a high incidence of drug traffic. The Officer stopped Mr. Brown and asked him to identify himself and explain why he was in the alley. Mr. Brown refused to identify himself and was arrested for violating a Texas statute which makes it a criminal act for a person to refuse to give his name and address to an officer "who has lawfully stopped him and requested the information. Mr. Brown was convicted and fined for violating the Texas statute. Mr. Brown appealed his case to the Supreme Court on the grounds that the Texas statute that required him to identify himself to the Officer was a violation of his fourth Amendment rights. The officers did not have any reasonable suspicion to believe that Mr. Brown was engaged or had engaged in criminal conduct. The Supreme Court heard the case and overturned the decision citing the precedent set in the Terry vs. Ohio case. It stated that Detaining appellant to require him to identify himself constituted a seizure of his person subject to the requirement of the Fourth Amendment that the seizure be "reasonable."(Cf. Terry v. Ohio). The Supreme Court also stated that the officer’s actions were not justified on the ground that they had a reasonable suspicion, based on objective facts, that he was involved in criminal activity. The Supreme Court overturned the conviction.

REFERENCES
Taken from Brown vs. Texas – 443 U.S. 47 (1979)...