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Terry V. Ohio

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Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968)

Facts of the Case
An police officer by the name of Mcfadden observed two men standing at a street corner. He noticed that the two men would take turns on looking inside of the window store. This happenedd about twenty four times and each time they did it the two men would have a conversation. After a while a third guy had joined the duo and then left. After the detective witnessed that action he had suspected that they were casing the store to burglarize the store. So he goes up to the suspects and identify himself. He questioned the suspects and got back a mumbled response. Detective Mcfadden subsequently pat down the suspects, removing their overcoats and discovered a pistol which he seized from them. Later on they were charged with carrying concealed weapons. Procedural History

The pretrial motion was to suppress the two pistols that was taken from Terry under the exclusionary rule and it was denied. The trial court had stated that the officer had “reasonable cause to believe that the defendants were conducting themselves suspiciously”. This led the court to find the suspects guilty of these charges. Issue

The legal issue of this case is whether or not the detective was unreasonable search and seize a persons' belongings without probable cause for an arrest. Petitioner’s Argument
The petitioner's argument was that Detective Mcfadden had violated the fourth amendment of the suspects by stopping them and frisking them without any probable cause.

Respondent’s Argument
The respondent's felt that the weapon was rightfully seized after a lawful arrest in a justifiable search. Holding
The court decided that the police may stop and frisk a suspect for any weapons if they just have a reasonable suspicion. They do not need a probable cause to arrest the suspects and any weapons that were discovered during these arrests may be used as evidence in court.

Rationale
According to Chief Justice Warren the fourth...

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