Example Brief POSC 3123
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This 3 page Study Guide was uploaded by kristenccarter24 Notetaker on Thursday September 8, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to POSC 3123 at Arkansas State University taught by Dr. Hans Hacker in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 6 views. For similar materials see American Constitutional Law in Political Science at Arkansas State University.
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Date Created: 09/08/16
Mapp v. Ohio 367 U.S. 643 (1961) Issue Before obtaining a warrant to search, Police broke into Dollree Mapp’s house looking for a fugitive who had tried to bomb the house of Don King. Mapp demanded to see a warrant, the police did not produce one. The police did not find the fugitive. But, in the course of their search they turned up illegal materials (obscene photos), which were used at Mapp’s trial to obtain a conviction. Commented [MH1]: Okay, so this summarizes adequately the important facts. The most crucial facts are these two: police obtained illegal materials during the course of a warrantless search, Whether the State of Ohio can introduce evidence obtained without a warrant at trial against Mapp to 2) the state then used these materials as evidence at a trial to th gain a conviction, or would this violate the 4 Amendment prohibitions against illegal searches and convict Mapp. seizures. Commented [MH2]: “As to Parties” statement of the issue. This one is best for those cases in which thepetitioner mounts a “as Whether the states may introduce evidence obtained without a warrant at trial for the purpose of applied” challenge to the law or policy. gaining a conviction, or does this general practice violate the 4 Amendment prohibitions against illegal searches and seizures. Commented [MH3]: This is the general statement of the issue. This one is best for “facial challenges” where the petitioner claims Rule the law or policy is unconstitutional when applied to anyone and everyone. Held 6-3 (Clark writing) in favor of Petitioner, Mapp, and overturned the Ohio Supreme Court. The Court th Commented [MH4]: This is the “Holding”. interpreted the 4 Amendment prohibition against illegal searches and seizures using the Exclusionary Rule to overturn Mapp’s conviction based on the introduction of the illegally obtained evidence. Under this rule the state may not profit from any illegally obtained evidence. The Court also considered how the meaning of the 4 Amendment as applied to the states (Incorporation). While SCOTUS had already th applied the 4 Amendment to the state, it went on to say that the exclusionary rule was the only valid interpretation of the 4 Amendment as applied to the states. Commented [MH5]: This is the statement of the Rule, also known as the general principle used by the Court to resolve this case and any similar cases that might come to it. Analysis The Court held that the exclusionary rule prevents Ohio from introducing evidence against Mapp in court for the purpose of obtaining a conviction. In arriving at this decision, the Court effectively overturned her conviction. Commented [MH6]: So, this is a summary of the ratio decidendi. This is what resolves this particular dispute. Frankly, I only include this here for the purposes of illustration. The next part The exclusionary rule is a “judicial created remedy designed to safeguard the 4 Amendment” by th is the most important, and the part the Court focused on most. prohibiting the introduction of illegal evidence at trial. The Court applied the exclusionary rule to the states through the due process clause of the 14 Amendment. In doing so, the Court overturned the Commented [MH7]: Rule Statement: This is a summary of the obiter dictum – the language the Court used to explain why it portion of a previous case (Wolf v. Colorado) that the 4 Amendment warrant clause DID NOT require decided the case as it did, and to give guidance to future courts. It that all evidence obtained through an illegal search automatically be barred from admission in court for does not speak directly to the litigants, but to the general state of the law now that the Court decided the case. Future Courts can the purposes of obtaining a conviction. In that case, the Court allowed states to come up with various abide by this, or not. methods of dealing with the problem. Commented [MH8]: Rule Explanation: I refer to a case, in this instance a case the Court overturned. Mapp applied the same limitations to the states as the federal government. The Court argues that any standard less than the exclusionary rule would gut the right to privacy in the home contained in the warrant requirement of the 4 Amendment. It also notes that many states use the exclusionary rule even though not required to do so. The Court also noted that uniformity in requirements for states and the federal government makes good sense – federal prosecutors may not use evidence illegally seized, but they can walk it across the street to states’ attorneys for purposes of conviction in a state court. After Mapp, this was abuse (the “ignoble shortcut”) was not possible. Commented [MH9]: More detail. As I stated above, future courts are not bound by the obiter dicta. Often they feel bound by it – they will not change an established principle. But, they do Conclusion change and adapt the principle over time. One way in which a th Yes. The actions of the police violate the 4 Amendment. The evidence obtained against Mapp may not future Court adapted this principle in a later case is called the “Good Faith Exception” to the Exclusionary Rule – police and be admitted at trial for the purposes of gaining a conviction. The Court over turned the decision of the prosecutors who get a warrant which is later found to be defective, Supreme Court of Ohio and Mapp’s conviction. In doing so, it applied the exclusionary rule to the states may still introduce that evidence in court because it was the judge who made the error, not the police. and required uniformity as to the rights of citizens to be free from prosecution as the result of Commented [MH10]: Notice how I speak directly to the issue. I unreasonable searches and seizures. say yes, or no here! Then, I summarize the case briefly – the holding, ruling, and a bit of analysis. Very short. Dissent (Harlan) Commented [MH11]: Concurrences and dissents are Regional and other differences among the states requires not uniformity, but flexibility to meet law important! Don’t ignore them. th enforcement demands. Due process in the 14 Amendment should be flexible, and nothing in it requires th that the 4 Amendment be applied uniformly to the states and the federal government. My Questions for You! 1) Which facts where important to the Court? Could I have left any out that I state in the Issue section? 2) Although I state the issue as to parties and generally? Which is best suited to the outcome of the case? Did the Court simply overturn the law as applied to Mapp, or did they change the law as applied to all states? In other words, was this an as applied, or a facial challenge? 3) Do you see the difference between the Holding and the Rule? Do you think I included too much in the statement of the Rule? Could I move some of it down into the Analysis section? 4) Do you see how I directly answered the Issue statement? I also summarized the case so I could go directly to the conclusion when it comes time to write about this case. I don’t need to read it completely over again!
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