Supreme Court Case (4th Amendment)

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Alexis Crump
Landmark Supreme Court Case: Washington V. Chrisman

Plaintiff: State of Washington

Defendant: Chrisman

Plaintiff’s Claim: The drugs that were collected in Chrisman’s dormitory

room was legally obtained and could be used as evidence.

Chief Lawyer for the Plaintiff: Ronald R Carpenter

Chief Lawyer for the Defendant: Robert F Patrick

Judges in Favor of the Court: Harry A. Blackmun, Sandra Day O’Connor,

Lewis F. Powell, Jr., William H. Rehnquist and John Paul Stevens

Judges in Favor of the Defendant: William J Brennan, Jr., Thurgood

Marshall and Byron R. White

Place: Washington D.C

Date of Verdict: Janurary 13, 1982

-It’s verdict did overthrow the verdict of the Washington Court of Appeals

-The warrantless search of Chrisman’s dorm didn’t violate his Fourth

Amendment right

-Evidence collected at the scene was legally able to be used in the court


- It’s an example of the court’s willingness to interpert the Fourth

Amendment involving drug use or exchange

-The court interpreted the plain view rule, for the offer it is a risk but after

the case it frees them from “reviewing courts” on the search and/or seizure

Call for Action:

- In the 1970’s-1980’s drug exchange and use rose to higher levels

-Common drug use with the youth by the late 1970’s

- Public opinion demanded some action be taken by the authorities to curb

the illegal drug trade

-Pressure was sent to the Supreme Court to interpret the Fourth Amendment

to help support officers when investigating drug cases

A Bad Time for a Party:

-ON January 1, 1978 Carl Overdahl was caught with liquor in plain view

leaving his dorm room at Washington University

- WSU didn’t allow the possession of alcohol on campus

-Officer Daugherty, the WSU police department officer, asked for

Overdahl’s identification immediately as he saw the liquor

-Overdahl said he had to...
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