April 22, 2018, 2018
Mapp v. Ohio (1961)
Mapp v. Ohio was a Supreme Court Case that was an instrumental turning point in our nation's history. It drastically changed our legal system, and gave us the exclusionary rule, which in turn changed the way prosecution of a criminal is performed. The exclusionary rule is a very important ruling that was adopted by the courts to stop police from conducting illegal search and seizures.
The results in the case of Mapp v. Ohio gave the people of the United States a judicial remedy that is imposed by the courts to deter violations of constitutional rights. To enforce the Fourth Amendment we rely on the exclusionary rule, first adopted by the Supreme Court in 1914 in Weeks v. United States, and applied to the states in 1961 in Mapp v. Ohio. On May 23rd, 1957, three Cleveland police officers arrived at Dolly Mapp's home. They had reason to believe that gambling paraphernalia and a possible bombing suspect that was wanted for questioning had been hiding in her home. The officers knocked on the door and demanded to enter the home without a search warrant, but Mapp immediately telephoned her attorney and with his advice refused them entrances. Three hours later, additional police officers arrived to the scene. They knocked on the door but Mapp did not respond immediately. The officers then forcibly entered the home by knocking down one of the several doors. By this time Mapps attorney had arrived at the scene and they both demanded to see a warrant, but an officer showed them a blank piece of paper that he claimed to be a warrant. Aggravated with the situation, Mapp took the warrant and shoved it down the bosom of her pants.
The officers arrested her on an account she was "belligerent" and "rude". While Mapp was in handcuffs, the police conducted an extremely meticulous search of the house by searching private rooms and personal belongings. The police at the scene failed to find evidence of the suspected fugitive hiding out and nothing in relation to a bomb. However, they did find some lewd pornographic reading materials in a secured chest that were found to be illegal in the state of Ohio. Mapp was ultimately convicted in the Supreme Court of Ohio on account of her possession of the pornography. The search was illegal according to a previous ruling in Wolf v. Colorado, but Mapp appealed claiming it violated her due process of law. In a 5-3 vote, the ruling of Wolf vs. Colorado was overturned and the exclusionary rule of law was developed and determined to be applicable in all courts. In the process, it has greatly affected our legal system, and the way it is run.
The justice had very important decision to make; to either protect the rights of the accused or convict criminals at all cost. The court concluded that protecting innocent people's rights is far more important than convicting criminals. In 1949, the Court ruled in Wolf vs. Colorado, claiming that the ...