Mapp v Ohio

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In addition to believing that the exclusionary rule should apply to state-actions because of precedence in other constitutional areas, the Court determined that it was common sense to extend the exclusionary rule to the states. The Court wants to avoid conflict between state and federal courts; under the previous rule, even federal officers could testify in state court about illegally seized evidence. The Court acknowledged that such a rule would allow criminals to go free because of law-enforcement errors, but also suggested that this would teach law-enforcement to be more respectful of the Constitution, and lead to progressively fewer constitutional violations.

I. Concurring Opinion: There were several concurring opinions.

A. Justice Black's Concurrence: The Fourth Amendment alone may not be sufficient to prohibit the introduction of evidence obtained as the result of an unreasonable search and seizure, because the Fourth Amendment does not contain any provision precluding the use of illegally obtained evidence. However, when considered with the Fifth Amendment's self-incrimination ban, the Fourth Amendment does not only permit an exclusionary rule, but actually requires such a rule. In fact, in Boyd v. United States, the Court was unable to substantially differentiate between the invasion of a person's Fourth Amendment right to privacy and a person's Fifth Amendment right to be free from self-incrimination. Although the Boyd doctrine may not have been constitutionally required, it had a historical basis, was reasonable, and was consistent with the Court's interpretation of the Bill of Rights, which was been to liberally construe personal freedoms. Furthermore, the "shock-the-conscience" test was simply unworkable, resulting in conflicting holdings in many similar Fourth and Fifth Amendment cases that had been heard by the Court. In addition, that test made it difficult for states to determine whether or not their individual admission and exclusion policies would violate the provisions of the Constitution.

B. Justice Douglas' Concurrence: Douglas believed in the principle outlined in the Weeks case, which was that if evidence seized in violation of the Fourth Amendment could be used against an accused, then the Fourth Amendment was of no use. Other theoretical remedies, like disciplinary action within the police system, does not offer the same protections as excluding evidence seized in violation of the Constitution. Furthermore, a trespass action against the offending officer by the homeowner would not provide any meaningful relief to the defendant, because it might provide for financial remedies but would not assist a defendant's position in a criminal court[continue]

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"Mapp V Ohio" (2008, January 13) Retrieved September 1, 2015, from http://www.paperdue.com/essay/mapp-v-ohio-32902

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