Mapp v Ohio

Court Case

Description

In 1961 Dollree Mapp was convicted for possessing obscene materials after an illegal police search of her house for a fugitive. She appealed to the Supreme Court in the basis of freedom of speech, but the court instead focused on the Fourth Amendment, and with a 6-3 ruling, declared that all evidence obtained by searches and seizures that violated the Constitution were not admissible in court.

Issue

In Mapps case, her Fourth Amendment (protection against unreasonable searches and seizures) right was violated, the local police had a probable cause to enter her home to look for a fugitive, but they did not have a legal search warrant to enter her home and search for any evidence. The court’s issue was deciding if the evidence found in Mapps residence was admissible in the court, and how and when the exclusionary rule (evidence obtained in an illegal manner may not be used to aid in conviction) was to be used.

Significance

The case of Mapp v. Ohio introduced what is called the "exclusionary rule" to the legal systems, federal and state. Although it already existed in the federal level, due to the due process clause of the 14th Amendment, it also applied to the state level. Before Mapp, all you could do was complain. After Mapp, you could get that evidence excluded and the prosecution could not use it against you in any way. In the future Mapp v. Ohio will still be helpful to help people protect their privacy and property, in the future it could also be expanded to where the law protects the privacy and property inside our motored vehicles for example.
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