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Essay - PJ Stone Criminal Procedure Supreme Court Opinion...

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PJ Stone Criminal Procedure Supreme Court Opinion April 22, 2008 Katz v. United States 389 U.S. 347, 88 S. Ct. 507, 19L. Ed. 2d 576 (1967) Mr. Justice Stone concurs. The defendant Katz was convicted in the District Court for the Southern District of California. He was charged on an eight count indictment for transmitting illegal gambling information from a telephone booth in Los Angeles to Miami and Boston, which was in violation of a federal statute. During his trial the Government was allowed to introduce evidence of the defendant’s telephone conversations overheard by FBI agents. These agents had attached an electronic listening and recording device to the outside of the public telephone booth, from which he had placed his calls. All the while the defendant objected to the admittance of the phone conversations, stating that the agents used a wire-tap which was in violation of his Fourth Amendment rights. The Court of Appeals rejected his appeal, stating “there was no physical entrance into the area occupied by the defendant.” The Supreme Court granted certiorari to consider the constitutional issues that this case presented. The defendant Katz has phrased those issues as the following: “A. Whether a public telephone booth is a constitutionally protected area so that evidence obtained by attaching an electronic listening and recording device to the outside of the booth is obtained in violation of the right to privacy of the user of the booth.”
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“B. Whether physical penetration of a constitutionally protected area is necessary before a search and seizure can be said to be in violation of the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution.” I cannot accept the way these issues are presented to the Court. The Fourth Amendment cannot be translated to general constitutional “right to privacy.” Also, it the
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