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Mapp v. Ohio Home
The Case of Mapp v. OhioIn the case Mapp v. Ohio, Dolree Mapp was convicted of possessing obscene materials after an there admittedly illegal police search of her home, looking for a fugitive. On May 23rd, 1957, the Cleveland Police had received an anonymous tip that Dollree Mapp and her daughter were harboring a suspected bombing fugitive and gambling equipment. Without proof or probable cause, the Cleveland Police Department went to Mapp's home, and entered to look for evidence. Three officers went to the home and asked for permission to enter, but Mapp refused to admit them without a search warrant. Two officers left, and one remained. Three hours later, the two returned with several other officers. Brandishing a piece of paper, they broke in the door. Mapp asked to see the “warrant” and took it from an officer, putting it in her dress. The officers struggled with Mapp and took the piece of paper away from her. They then handcuffed her for being “belligerent. She was unconsitutionally arrested,
and she appealed her conviction on the basis of freedom of expression and privacy. She appealed her case to the federal court because she believed that the exclusionary rule should be made a part of the fourth amendment. Since the local police had no probable cause or search warrant to search for obscene materials, only materials related to gambling should be used against her.
The ConclusionThe Court brushed aside the First Amendment issue and declared that all evidence obtained by searches and seizures is in violation of the Constitution. The Supreme Court ruled that the evidence had been found illegally and the court reversed Mapp's conviction. It violated the 4th amendment against the protection of unreasonale search and seizure. Mapp had been convicted on the basis of illegally obtained evidence. This was an historic -- and controversial -- decision. It placed the requirement of excluding illegally obtained evidence from court at all levels of the government. The decision launched the Court on a troubled course of determining how and when to apply the exclusionary rule. It drew more attention to unreasonable search and seizure, and made people more cautious to obtain the correct paperwork and processes required before searching for evidence. Because of this court case, the exclusionary rule has been a part of the fourth amendment and has been included within the rights that restrict the states and federal government.
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