Criminal Procedure and the Constitution
September 13, 2012
Mapp v. Ohio (1961)
Facts: In Mapp v. Ohio (1961), the police thought Dollree Mapp was hiding a suspect they were looking for in connection with building a bomb. The police officers lied and said they had a search warrant of which they did not and forced their way into Mapp’s home and searched it. While searching the home, the police found evidence, not for a bomb, but of pornographic material that violated Ohio’s law and she was arrested. The Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court, the Ohio Court of Appeals, and the Ohio Supreme Court all ruled against Dollree Mapp. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in her favor and reversed the charges based on the exclusionary rule (Casebriefs, 2012). Procedural history: Mapp was charged and convicted of having pornographic material in all of Ohio’s lower courts including Ohio’s Appeal Court, and the Ohio Supreme Court. The U.S. Supreme Court found that the evidence seized in the search was illegal because there was no proof of a search warrant. The items seized from the search had nothing to do with a bomb, the reason they were there, and it was not in plain view. The charges were reversed (Samaha, 2012). Issue: Was the search of Mapp’s home a violation of the Fourth Amendment? Was the evidence used against Mapp in court illegal? The issue was the constitutionality of using evidence obtained from illegal or unreasonable search and seizure to prosecute a defendant in court. The Supreme Court held evidence obtained from a suspect illegally could not be used at trial without violating the Fourth Amendment (Casebriefs, 2012). Rule: The search was illegal because there was no warrant, the materials were not in plain view and they were not related to the case. All evidence discovered as a result of a search and seizure conducted in violation of the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution shall be inadmissible in State court...