Mapp+v+Ohio+_1961_ - at F Rights of the Accused...

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Unformatted text preview: at F * Rights of the Accused ————————__________________ Mapp v. Ohio In 1949, the Supreme Court had held that the Fourteenth Amend— ment was not applicable against the use of evidence, obtained in an unreasonable search and seizure, in a state court proceeding (Wolf v. Colorado, 338'U.S. 25). But in the 1960’s, as part of its new position that the Fourteenth Amendment incorporated various procedural rights of the accused; theCourt began to apply federal constitutional standards of searches and seizures to state practices. The Mapp case below directly overruled Wolf. A year later, in Ker v. California, the Court flatly stated that the guarantee against unreasonable search and seizure the same under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments” (374 U.S. 23).. Justice Clark delivered the opinion of the Court. Appellant stands convicted of knowingly having had in her possession and under her control certain lewd and lascivious books, pictures, and photographs in violation of § 2905.34 of Ohio’s Revised Code. As officially stated in the syllabus to its opinion, the Supreme Court of Ohio found that her conviction was valid though “based primarily upon the introduction in evidence of lewd and lascivious'books and pictures un- lawfully seized during an unlawful search of defendant’s home. . . .” At the trial no search warrant was produced by the prosecution, nor was the failure to produce one explained or accounted for. . . . The State says that even if the search were made without authority, or otherwise unreasonably, it is not prevented from'using the unconstitu~ tionally seized evidence at trial, citing Wolf v. Colorado, 338 US. 25 (1949), in which this Court did indeed hold “that in a prosecution in a State court for a State crime the Fourteenth Amendment does not 367 (1.5. 643 (1961) 615 616 Rights of the Accused forbid the admission of evidence obtained by an unreasonable search and seizure.” . . . Since the Fourth Amendment’s right of privacy has been declared en- forceable against the States through the Due Process Clause of the Four- teenth, it is enforceable against them by the same sanction of exclusion as is used against the Federal Government. Were it otherwise, . . . the as— surance against unreasonable federal searches and seizures would be “a form of words,” valueless and undeserving of mention in a perpetual char- ter of inestimable human liberties, so too, . . . the freedom from state in— vasions of privacy would be soephemeral and so neatly severed from its conceptual nexus with the freedom from all brutish means of coercing evi— dence as not to merit this Court’s high regard as a freedom “implicit in the concept of ordered liberty.” At the time that the Court held in Wolf that the Amendment was applicable to the States through the Due Process Clause, the cases of this Court, as we have seen, had steadfastly held that as to federal officers the Fourth Amendment included the exclusion of evidence seized in violation of its provisions. EVen Wolf “stoutly adhered” to that proposition. . . . Therefore, in extending the substan- tive protections of due process to all constitutionally unreasonable searches —-state or federal—«it was logically and constitutionally neces~ sary that the exclusion doctrine—an essential part of the right to privacy—be also insisted upon as an essential ingredient of the right newly recognized by the Wolf case. In short, the admission of the new constitutional right by Wolf could not consistently tolerate denial of its most important constitutional privilege, namely, the exclusion of the evidence which an accused had been forced to give by reason of the unlawful seizure. To hold otherwise is to grant the right but in reality to withhold its privilege and enjoyment. . . . Moreover, our holding that the exclusionary rule is an essential part of both the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments is not only the logical dictate of prior cases, but it also makes very good sense. There is no war between the Constitution and common sense. Presently, a federal prose~ cutor may make no use of evidence illegally seized, but a State’s attorney across the street may, although he supposedly is operating under the enforceable prohibitions of the same Amendment. Thus the State, by admitting evidence unlawftu seized, serves to encourage disobedience to the Federal Constitution which it is bound to uphold. . . . Moreover, “[t]he very essence of a healthy federalism depends upon the avoidance of needless conflict between state and federal courts.” Yet the double standard recognized until today hardly put such a thesis into practice. In nonexclusionary States, federal ofiicers, being human, were by it invited to and did, as our cases indicate, step across the street to the State’s attorney with their unconstitutionally seized evidence. Prosecu— tion on the basis of that evidence was then had in a state court in utter Mapp v. Ohio 617 disregard of the enforceable Fourth Amendment. If the fruits of an unconstitutional search had been inadmissible in both state and federal courts, this inducement to evasion would have been sooner elimi- nated. . . . Federal-state cooperation in the solution of crime under constitutional standards will be promoted, if only by recognition of their now mutual obligation to respect the same fundamental criteria in their approaches. “However much in a particular case insistence upon such rules may appear as a technicality that inures to the benefit of a guilty person, the history of the criminal law proves that tolerance of shortcut methods in law enforcement impairs its enduring effectiveness.” . Denying shortcuts to only one of two cooperating law enforcement agencies tends naturally to breed legitimate suspicion. The ignoble shortcut to conviction left open to the State tends to destroy the entire system of constitutional restraints on which the liberties of the people rest. Having once recognized that the right to privacy embodied in the Fourth Amendment is enforceable against the States, and that the right to be secure against rude invasions of privacy by state officers is, therefore, constitutional in origin, we can no longer permit that right to remain an empty promise. Because it is enforceable in the same manner and to like effect as other basic rights secured by the Due Process Clause, we can no longer permit it to be revocable at the whim of any police officer who, in the name of law enforcement itself, chooses to suspend its enjoyment. Our decision, founded on reason and truth, gives to the individual no more than that which the Constitution guarantees him, to the police officer no leSs than that to which honest law enforcement is entitled, and, to the courts, that judicial integrity so necessary in the true administration of justice. . . ...
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Mapp+v+Ohio+_1961_ - at F Rights of the Accused...

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