May 22, 2013
Search and seizure is a vital and problematic component of police and investigative work in almost every facet of law enforcement. The components involved in mandating accuracy, fairness, and justice must be governed. If those components are not governed by an outside source, then the opportunities for corruption, inaccuracy and dishonesty are great thereby endangering the general public’s basic civil rights of protection. If police, local, or state law enforcement are not bound by search and seizure laws and procedures, innumerable legal problems and civil challenges are almost guaranteed to arise and the courts would be overflowing with cases. In this case analysis, we will inquire into the protection that the Exclusionary Rule provides and the confidence that citizens can have in it and the Constitution of the United States from illegal search and seizure by law enforcement personnel.
In a case that was heard before the United States Supreme Court, Mapp v. Ohio (1961), the defendant, Mrs. Dollree Mapp was convicted for possession of pornographic material during a questionable search of her home for harboring a bombing suspect as well as some gambling equipment (Mapp v. Ohio (1961). The local police showed her a “piece of paper” insinuating that it was an actual warrant to enter and search her home. She snatched the paper and stuffed it in her dress. The police handcuffed her and charged her with being “belligerent” and for possession of pornographic materials that they found in a suitcase that she says was lent to a boarding person. Mrs. Mapp was arrested, prosecuted, found guilty and sentenced for the possession of the material although, no search warrant from the police or court was ever produced during her trial (Mapp v. Ohio). Her appeal was based on the 4th Amendment protecting United States citizens from “unreasonable searches and seizures” and the...