The Supreme Court of the United States unanimously decided that as a defendant in a criminal case, Weeks had a right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure and that the police unlawfully searched for, seized, and retained Weeks’ letters. The Court praised the police officials for trying to bring guilty people to punishment but said that the police could not be aided by sacrificing the fundamental rights secured and guaranteed by the Constitution. [This decision gave rise to the Exclusionary Rule.” This meant that evidence seized in violation of the Constitution cannot be admitted during a trial.] (Source – PATCH – See link below)
Dorlee Mapp was suspected of having information in her home that would implicate a suspected bomber. The police came to her home and asked if they might search the residence. Ms. Mapp called her lawyer and was advised to ask for a warrant. Hours later the police returned and forcibly entered the residence. Mrs. Mapp demanded to see the warrant and a piece of paper was waved in her face. Mrs. Mapp grabbed the paper and tucked it in her blouse. A struggle ensued where Ms. Mapp was knocked to the ground as police retrieved the supposed warrant. Outside Ms. Mapp’s attorney arrived on the scene but was prevented from entering the residence. The police found pornographic materiels in the house and Ms. Mapp was arrested for possession of lewd materials. Ms. Mapp was convicted of this crime. Ms.. Mapp appealed her conviction on the grounds that the search of her home was in violation of her rights.
The court ruled that the evidence obtained in the search was inadmissable because it was seized in an illegal search. In ruling this way the court created the “exclusionary rule” which makes illegally obtained evidence inadmissable in court. This ruling upheld the principles of the fourth amendment.
Katz was arrested for illegal gambling after using a public phone to transmit “gambling information
Roy Olmstead, a bootlegger, had a good business going during the prohibition years. He sold liquor illegally in violation of the 18 th amendment and the Volstead Act. The government in searching for evidence used a new technology and tapped into Olmstead’s phone lines. They recorded evidence against Olmstead, arrested him and he was convicted using that evidence. Olmstead’s lawyer appealed arguing that the police had violated his right to privacy by listening in on his phone conversations. He further argued that the evidence used to convict him should be thrown out because it was obtained without a warrant.
Olmstead’s conviction was upheld as the court ruled that right to privacy and the need for a search warrant did not apply to telephone conversations. Attorney Louis D. Brandeis, later to become Supreme Court Justice, argued in defense of Olmstead to no avail.
” The FBI had attached an electronic listening/recording device onto the outside of the public phone booth that Katz habitually used. They argued that this constituted a legal action since they never actually entered the phone booth.
The Courts decision written by Justice Potter Stewart, ruled in favor of Katz, stating the Fourth Amendment allowed for the protection of a person and not just a person’s property againsty illegal searches. Whatever a citizen “seeks to preserve as private, even in an area accesible to the public, may be constitutionally protected.”
They police did not have a warrant and were asked to leave
Two students were found smoking in the girls bathroom. One student confessed but the other, T.L.O. (her initials), denied smoking. In fact, T.L.O. claimed she did not smoke at all. The school Assistant Principal then proceeded to search T.L.O.’s purse. L.O. money. The police were summoned and T.L.O. was arrested. T.L.O. was convicted and through the appeals process the case eventually went to the Supreme Court. T.L.O. claimed that the search of her purse violated her Constitutional rights.