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THE EXCLUSIONARY RULE Case Law

The Exclusionary Rule is a series of court decisions made by the U.S. Supreme Court that states that any evidence obtained illegally cannot be used in a court of law.

The Exclusionary Rule

According to the Fifth Amendment and the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution every citizen of the United States is granted the right of Due Process, which means a fair hearing.

According to the Fifth Amendment and the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution every citizen of the United States is granted...

The Exclusionary Rule expands these rights of fairness to include the processing of criminal offenders prior to appearing in court.

The Exclusionary Rule expands these rights of fairness to include...

Weeks v. United States , 1914
Silverthorne Lumber Co. v. US 1920
Mapp v. Ohio, 1961
Terry v. Ohio 1968
Escobedo v. Illinois, 1964
Miranda v. Arizona, 1965
Chimel v. California, 1969
When Warrants Are Not Required

Cases Relating to the Exclusionary Rule

Freemont Weeks was suspected by the federal government of using the US Mail to sell lottery tickets. This was and is a federal crime. Weeks was arrested and federal agents went to Weeks home to conduct a search for evidence. At this time federal agents did not routinely secure warrants before conducting a search. While conducting the search, the agents seized evidence, and as well, they took items that were personal in nature (clothes, papers, books, and candy)
Before the case went to trial, Weeks' attorney requested that all the personal items taken by the agents be returned.
Week's attorney claimed the materials had been taken illegally.
The Judge agreed with Weeks and ordered the personal property returned. However, based on the evidence that was retained, Weeks was found guilty, and subsequently sent to prison.
His attorney appealed the case to the US Supreme Court, arguing that if some of Weeks' belongings were taken illegally then all of it was taken illegally.
The Court agreed and overturned Weeks' conviction.

WEEKS v US (1914)

Weeks v. United States marked the creation of the exclusionary rule, which originally stated that evidence obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment's protection against unreasonable search and seizure could not be used against a person in federal court.


All fed agents must have warrants

WEEKS v US (1914)

WEEKS v US (1914)

established the Exclusionary Rule which held that illegally obtained evidence could not be used in federal court

WEEKS v US (1914)

a warrant is needed to seize items from a house. establishes the exclusionary rule.

WEEKS v US (1914)

facts: selling lottery tickets through mail, have no warrant, went in house and took stuff
issue: warrantless searches and seizures unreasonable?
holding: created exclusionary rule (yes warrantless s&s are unreasonable)
rationale: limitation: powerers & authority of the feds, control police behavior
(ex. rule only good for federal cases)

Frederick Silverthorne and his sons operated a lumber company and were accused by federal agents of avoiding paying taxes.
The Silverthorne's were asked to turn over their books. Invoking their right not to incriminate themselves, they refused.
Without a warrant federal agents went to the lumber company and conducted a search and confiscated the books of the company.
Silverthorne's attorney cited the Weeks case and requested that the materials be returned to them.
The judge agreed.

Silverthorne Lumber Co. v US (1920)

Silverthorne Lumber Co. v US (1920)

Procedural Posture:
District Court: Fined Silverthorne Lumber Company 250 dollars for contempt of court and ordered Frederick Silverthorne to be imprisoned until he should purge himself of a similar contempt.

Issue(s): Whether the evidence seized through an unlawful search can be used against the defendants during trial?

Silverthorne Lumber Co. v US (1920)

Silverthorne Lumber Co. v US (1920)

Judgment/Disposition: Reversed

Holding: The court established the "fruit of the poisonous tree" rule in which inadmissible evidence, if obtained illegally, cannot be used against the defendant. This is an extension of the exclusionary rule.

Majority: The majority came up with the "fruit of the poisonous tree" doctrine, which prohibits the government from using evidence derived from conduct that violates the Fourth Amendment or other provisions of the constitution. Thus, the exclusionary rule remedy applies not only to the direct fruits (evidence) obtained by unconstitutional means, but also to all other evidence subsequently derived from it. The court found this rule was needed because without it the Fourth Amendment in anticipation of developing subsequent evidence that could be admitted at trial. If this was permitted it would defeat the purpose of the individual's rights as well as the exclusionary rule.

Silverthorne Lumber Co. v US (1920)

Deloree Mapp was suspected of harboring a fugitive who was wanted on charges related to a bombing.
The police went to Mapp's residence to search her place without a warrant.
State and local police at this time did not think they needed warrants.
She refused to let them in.
The police forced their way in claiming they had a search warrant and proceeded to search the Mapp residence.


While searching for the fugitive, the police opened a drawer and found pornography that was considered to be illegal in Ohio at that time.
Mapp was arrested and later found guilty for possession of pornography.
Her case was appealed to the US Supreme Court, where her lawyer argued that the police had conducted an illegal search because they had no warrant.
The lawyer also argued, that the police should have never have found the pornography because they were looking for a person.

MAPP v OHIO (1961)

MAPP v OHIO (1961)

The Court agreed.
Subsequently, the court ruled that all police need to have search warrants (there are exceptions).
Further the court founded the "Elephant in a match box doctrine".

The elephant in a matchbox doctrine, which requires searchers consider the probable size and shape of the evidence they seek, since large objects cannot be concealed in tiny areas. Ignoring this doctrine usually results in leaving the place a shambles.

MAPP v OHIO (1961)

a landmark case in the area of U.S. criminal procedure, in which the United States Supreme Court decided that evidence obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment protection against "unreasonable searches and seizures" may not be used in criminal prosecutions in state courts, as well as federal courts.

MAPP v OHIO (1961)

Extended the prohibition of "unreasonable searches and seizures" to the State Governments

Terry vs Ohio

was a decision by the United States Supreme Court which held that the Fourth Amendment prohibition on unreasonable
searches and seizures is not violated when a police officer stops a suspect on the street and frisks him without probable cause to arrest, if the police officer has a reasonable suspicion that the person has committed, is committing, or is about to commit a crime and has a reasonable belief that the person "may be armed and presently dangerous."

A plain clothes police officer was watching a particular place of business.
The Officer staked out the place of business.
He saw one man enter the store and look around as though he was casing the place.
The man exited the store and met with another man.
The second man entered the place of business and also appeared to case the place.
He exited the store and returned to the first man, and a discussion ensued.
The Officer later reported that from his experience it appeared to him that these were the two men that were reportedly going to rob the place of business.

Terry vs Ohio

Terry vs Ohio

Terry later claimed that the search conducted by the Officer was illegal and using the Exclusionary Rule the arrest should be negated by the courts.
The Supreme Court of the United States ruled that a frisk is not a search.
When the Officer stopped Terry and spun him into the wall, the Officer was not merely following a hunch, but had an articulate suspicion (more than a hinkle) that Terry and the man that was with him were going to conduct an armed robbery.
The Court further ruled that the Officer had indeed conducted a search when he entered Terry's pocket, however, a warrant was not needed since the Officer had probable cause based upon his previous experience of feeling guns as the result of frisks.
Back

Terry vs Ohio

balance d the need to search with the right to privacy.. can frisk but limited pat down of outer clothing in search of weapon on spected person

Terry vs Ohio

The landmark case which set the rules for search and seizure giving limits for a "stop and frisk." In this case, the courts determined the difference between a "frisk" and a "search."

Terry vs Ohio

1968- Protective search of clothing- articulate- to be able to give specific info/ reasonable suspicion that criminal is armed and involved in criminal activity, once arrested a more thorough search happens

Escobedo v Illinois (1964)

Escobedo was arrested in connection with a murder and brought to the police station. He repeatedly asked to see his lawyer, but was never allowed out of the interrogation room. His lawyer even went so far as to come to the police station in search of him, but was denied access. Escobedo then confessed while under interrogation to firing the shot that killed the victim. As a result, he was soon convicted. Escobedo appealed to the Supreme Court and it overturned the conviction. The Court extended the "exclusionary rule" to illegal confessions and ruled that Escobedo's confession should not have been allowed in as evidence. The Court also defined the "Escobedo Rule" which holds that individuals have the right to an attorney when an "investigation is no longer a general inquiry...but has begun to focus on a particular suspect..." The ruling went on to detail that (Where) the suspect has been taken into custody...the suspect has requested...his lawyer, and the police have not...warned him of his right to remain silent, the accused has been denied...counsel in violation of the Sixth Amendment."

Escobedo v Illinois (1964)

warren court decision; a suspect needs to be given access to a lawyer and needs to be told that he / she has the right to be silent before being questioned

Escobedo v Illinois (1964)

Was a United States Supreme Court case holding that criminal suspects have a right to counsel during police interrogations under the Sixth Amendment.

Miranda v. Arizona (1965)

In Miranda the courts ruled that the prosecution may not use statements, whether exculpatory(get you in trouble) or inculpatory, stemming from custodial interrogation of the defendant unless it demonstrates the use of procedural safeguards effective to secure the privilege against self-incrimination

Miranda v. Arizona (1965)

Established the (5th amendment)
When you don't feel free to go when you are in custody
When you are being interrogation

Miranda was charged with kidnapping and rape of a young woman. He was brought in for questioning and identified as the assailant by the victim. He was subsequently questioned by police. After a two-hour interrogation Miranda signed a confession which formed the basis of his conviction.
The court ruled in favor of Miranda citing the following, "The entire aura and atmosphere of police interrogation without notification of rights and an offer of assistance of counsel tends to subjugate the individual to the will of the examiner."

The court continued, (the defendant) "...must be warned prior to any questioning that he has the right to remain silent, that anything he says can be used against him in a court of law, that he has the right to the presence of an attorney,
and that if he cannot afford an attorney one will be appointed to him prior to any questioning if he so desires.
Opportunity to exercise these rights must be afforded to him throughout the interrogation.
After such warnings have been given, and such opportunity afforded him, the individual may knowingly waive these rights and agree to answer the questions or make a statement.
But unless and until such warnings and waiver are demonstrated by the prosecution at the trial, no evidence obtained as a result of the interrogation can be used against him."

Miranda v. Arizona (1965)

Requires set of warnings to be given if subjected to a custodial interrogation
Valid Waiver must be given voluntarily, knowingly, and intelligently.
Accused may refuse at any time during interrogation to exercise the privileges under Miranda

The most important aspects of the Miranda decision

Chimel v. California, 1969

A search incident to arrest is limited to the body of the arrestee and the area in his immediate control; immediate control includes the area in which the arrestee could reach a weapon or destructible evidence.

Chimel v. California, 1969

Search reasonable within GRABBABLE AREA/ "within immediate control" for weapons/destructible evidence. Other rooms out of this area requires a search warrant.
o Warrant to arrest Chimel. They waited for him to come home. They searched his home because they claimed it was a grabbable area. The evidence found was suppressed because the grabbable area constitutes where he was arrested and have reasonable access/contact with it for it to be searched. The attic was not reasonable and they should have gotten a warrant for
o An arresting officer may search only the area "within the immediate control" of the person arrested, meaning the area from which he might gain possession of a weapon or destructible evidence. Any other search of the surrounding area requires a search warrant.

Chimel v. California, 1969

Local police officers went to Chimel's home with a warrant authorizing his arrest for burglary. Upon serving him with the arrest warrant, the officers conducted a comprehensive search of Chimel's residence. The search uncovered a number of items that were later used to convict Chimel. State courts upheld the conviction.

Was the warrantless search of Chimel's home constitutionally justified under the Fourth Amendment as "incident to that arrest?"

In a 7-to-2 decision, the Court held that the search of Chimel's house was unreasonable under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments. The Court reasoned that searches "incident to arrest" are limited to the area within the immediate control of the suspect. While police could reasonably search and seize evidence on or around the arrestee's person, they were prohibited from rummaging through the entire house without a search warrant. The Court emphasized the importance of warrants and probable cause as necessary bulwarks against government abuse.

Chimel v. California, 1969

During an arrest the police may search the following:
The Defendant
The physical area within easy reach of the defendant
This has become known as the Lunge Rule

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