Terry V. Ohio

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

The case of Terry v. Ohio is considered to be a landmark case because it is “understood to validate the practice of frisking (or patting down) suspects for weapons under diverse circumstances” (www.flexyourrights.org). These circumstances that allow for warrantless searches are applied only if and when an officer feels that peoples lives could be at risk, or if there is enough cause to believe that “a crime is in the process of being committed, a crime has already been committed, or that a crime was about to be committed” (Justice Douglas, dissenting, Terry v. Ohio). The case of Terry v. Ohio set a precedent for future cases because it changed the way searches and seizures were to be conducted and properly obtaining evidence through the use of warrants.

In the case of Florida v. Bostick, the issue at hand was whether or not narcotics officers illegally searched defendant Bostick’s belongings. Bostick was on a bus headed from Miami to Atlanta, and on one of its stops, narcotics officers performed a routine check. The officers came across defendant Bostick, and asked him for his ticket. The officers then requested consent to search his belongings. “Bostick reportedly consented, at which point the officers performed a search and discovered cocaine.” (www.flexyourrights.org) Bostick was convicted, but decided to appeal, “claiming that due to his apparent inability to leave the bus, the encounter constituted an unlawful seizure“ (www.flexyourrights.org). The court upheld his conviction because they felt that “So long as nature of the officers' contact with the defendant is held constitutionally valid, his consent to be searched and the resultant evidence are held valid as well“. (www.flexyourrights.org)

In the case of California v. Greenwood, the issue of search and seizure is also at hand. In this case, police had acted on a tip that the defendant, Billy Greenwood, was a drug dealer. “Because the police did not have...
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