Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Mapp v. Ohio Case Brief
Mapp v Ohio Case Brief
Police officers were in search of a bombing suspect as well as evidence related to the said bombing, and their investigation led them to the house of the petitioner in this case, Mapp. They had received information from a source that a bombing subject was at the said house and that paraphernalia related to the said bombing could also be found there. The said officers knocked on Mapp’s door to ask permission for entry, but they were denied. Mapp told them that she refused to let them inside if they did not have a search warrant with them. She also spoke with her attorney. The said police then left her residence but subsequently returned a few hours afterwards to present her with the warrant that she asked for. Mapp, however, did not answer the door. What the officers then did was to enter her house forcibly. Mapp’s lawyer then arrived but was barred from entering the house and communicating with Mapp. When Mapp again demanded to see the warrant again, she was given it by the officers but she allegedly took it and stuffed it down her shirt. The officers then forcibly took the said warrant from her and arrested her on the charge of belligerence. She was then confined by the officers to her bedroom in the second floor of her house. After this, the officers searched her home and found some obscene materials. These obscene materials then became grounds for her being tried and convicted for her possession of them.
The issue is whether or not the said evidence gathered during the said search and seizure was violative of the Fourth Amendment and whether or not such evidence shall be admissible in court.
Evidence obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution is not valid and admissible in court.
It was held in this case that the so called exclusionary rule applies in this case. It was held by the court that in this case, the evidence was clearly obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment. The Fourth Amendment’s clause regarding searches and seizures is one of the guarantees as to the rights of individuals against unlawful searches and seizures which infringe upon the right to privacy of an individual. All evidence obtained through violating the Federal Constitution is definitely inadmissible in a criminal trial.
It was ruled in several cases that even the State is liable for the breach of such constitutional guarantee. The right to privacy as guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment also has been declared as enforceable against the State as per the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause. The applicability of the exclusionary rule against the State is therefore incontrovertible.
One of the main reasons for the said Exclusionary rule is to prevent anyone from obtaining evidence illegally. This anyone includes even the government itself. Allowing such illegal procurement of evidence could open the gateway to abuse, distrust, and a loss of confidence and faith in the State. The State, as a body, is liable for the breach of such rule since it is the obligation of the State not only to promote the law but to uphold it as well. The State, as smaller political body must also be held accountable for the breach of such rule. It is untenable that only the Federal government be liable to a breach of such rule and not a State. Such would be absurd and clearly unjust. Showing that both a State and the Federal government can be similarly liable to individuals is a good way to teach through good example. Doing otherwise would only be detrimental to the whole government system.