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GWU / Sociology / SOC 2146 / What is the content of johnson versus the us?

What is the content of johnson versus the us?

What is the content of johnson versus the us?


School: George Washington University
Department: Sociology
Course: The Bill of Rights and Criminal Justice
Professor: S saltzburg
Term: Fall 2016
Tags: Criminal, Justice, sociology, bill, Of, and rights
Cost: 25
Name: Bill of Rights & Criminal Justice Week 3 Notes
Description: These notes cover what we learned in our third week of lectures
Uploaded: 09/14/2016
8 Pages 43 Views 1 Unlocks

Bill of Rights & Criminal Justice – Week 3 9/14/16 2:10 PM

What is the content of johnson versus the us?

Johnson v. US 

• Informant tells Lt. Belland opium was being smoked in Europe hotel • Informant sent back to hotel, smells opium

• Belland and 4 feds go to hotel, smell opium

• Officers knock, woman opens door, officers enter

• Supreme Court says no warrant, therefore bad search

o Where was the search?  

o Why was the police action unreasonable?

o What are the advantages of a Magistrate?

???? A Magistrate assesses probable cause

???? A Magistrate assessed reasonableness, specificity and  


What is the warrant preference?

The Warrant Preference 

• Despite the presumption that warrantless searches are  

unconstitutional, most searches are warrantless

• More searches incident to arrest than any others

• There is a tradeoff between (a) making police get warrants and  delaying action, and (b) stopping crime and assuring arrests and  gathering of evidence  

Spinelli v. US (1969) 

• Standard for warrants – two-prong test

• FBI tracks Spinelli, identifies apartment

o Spinelli goes from Illinois to St. Louis We also discuss several other topics like What is piaget's theory of learning?

• Apartment has two listed phone numbers

• Informants’ tip re: 2 phone numbers and gambling

What is the content of spinelli versus the us (1969)?

• Spinelli known to FBI as bookmaker

o Bookmaker = a person who bets, gambles

Previous Inadequate Affidavits 

• Aguilar – Police received reliable information from credible person  and do not believe.. drugs

o Not enough for probable cause

• Nathanson – cause to believe.. liquor  

o Not enough for probable cause

Informant vs. Affiant 

• Affiant provides oath or affirmation If you want to learn more check out The matching principle matches what to what?

• Informant provides info to affiant

• Officer presumed reliable; informant not presumed reliable • 2 basic questions:

o Who is the source of the probable cause?

???? Is this person reliable?

o What does the source know?

???? Is this sufficient?

• What does it take for a valid warrant? ✂ One sentence


• Marsh = Denver federal narcotic agent with 29 years of experience • Hereford = “special employee” of Denver Bureau of Narcotics o Paid for information at Denver for about six months

o 9/3 Hereford tells Marsh that Draper is dealing

o 9/7 Hereford tells Marsh that Draper had gone to Chicago the  day before and that he was going to bring back heroin,  If you want to learn more check out Can water soluble drugs cross blood brain barrier?

returning to Denver either 9/8 or 9/9 by train

o Hereford gives description of Draper

• 9/8 – Marsh and Denver officer go to train station

o Watch over incoming trains from Chicago – no one matches  the description given

• 9/9 same procedure

o See man that matches Draper’s description – they arrest and  search him – discover heroin and syringe  

• Draper was an arrest case

o Issue was probable cause  

• Hereford was a reliable informant  


• Justice White notes that there was a confidential informant in  Spinelli

o Corroborated the 2 phone numbers

???? Corroborate = to confirm or give support to a finding

• Justice White says there is tension between Draper and Aguilar Nathanson

• Justice Harlan says that two phone numbers is not of such a nature  that they would be obtainable only by observation of the informant  himself/herself  If you want to learn more check out What is the effect of divorce on the family?

Illinois v. Gates (1983)

• May 3rd letter predicts May 3rd drive by Sue and subsequent flight  by Lance to Florida

• Lance flies on 5th, drives with illegal license plates on 6th • Illinois Supreme Court finds veracity prong missing

• Court overrules Spinelli

• Upholds Aguilar and Nathanson We also discuss several other topics like What are some examples of cultural pluralism?

• Adopts totality of circumstances test

o Totality of circumstances = suggests that there is no single  deciding factor, that one must consider all the facts, the  context, and conclude from the whole picture whether there is  probable cause, or whether an alleged detention is really a  detention, or whether a citizen acted under color of law ???? Would a reasonable person decide that there is  If you want to learn more check out How to distribute pressure?

probable cause?

• Justice White concurs – no need to overrule

• Justice Stevens – informant wrong

• May 3rd letter from anonymous source to Bloomingdale police  informing them that there is a couple (Sue and Lance Gates) that  are strictly making their living by selling drugs

o Is this information credible/trustworthy? It’s from an  anonymous source… hard to get a warrant for something like  this

• Detective Mader investigates

• Contacts secretary of state to get driver’s license address for Gates  couple

• Gets more recent address from “certain financial records” o Gets information from police officer saying Lance Gates has  May 5th flight from Chicago to Florida at 4:15

• DEA surveillance of flight

o Gates boarded his flight; federal agents observed him arrive  in Florida and take taxi to his hotel

o Next morning Gates and unidentified woman left motel in car  bearing Illinois plates and drove on interstate frequently used  to go to Chicago – license plates registered to Gates

• Mader signs affidavit reporting these facts and attaching a copy of  letter

o Affidavit = a written statement confirmed by oath or  

affirmation, for use as evidence in court

• Magistrate issues a warrant to search house and car

• When Gates arrived, police were waiting

• Searched car and discovered 350 pounds of marijuana

• Searched house and found marijuana, weapons, and other  contraband

Spinelli’s Prongs Alive Still 

• The two prongs of Spinelli are still relevant

• Gates emphasizes that they may not be independent – that is, the  same facts may be relevant to both prongs

• Some states reject Gates and adhere to Spinelli

o States can provide more protection under their Constitutions  and laws than they are required to provide by the Supreme  Court’s interpretation of the US Constitution

o States cannot provide less protection

Probable Cause 

• Not as demanding as “preponderance of the evidence”

• Way short of “clear and convincing evidence” and even more distant  from “proof beyond a reasonable doubt”

• It is the standard for warrants that end up covering arrests and  searches for law enforcement purposes

• Officers do not have to be certain

• Hill: officers arrest Miller thinking he is Hill; they had probably  cause and thus acted lawfully

• Deference to police expertise

• Devenpeck: arrest is valid as long as probable cause exists even if  officer arrested for wrong crime

• Collective knowledge of police can be combined  

Prandy-Binett (DC Case) 

• Union Station, PB walking faster than others and trying to get  around them

• Made eye contact with detectives in plain clothes and moved faster  toward exit

• Detectives ID themselves

• Said he lived in DC, license = Hyattsville; said he came from NJ,  but ticket was from NY. Carrying small cloth bag; said he was in NJ  for a week

• Detectives ask whether bag has a gun or drugs in it, PB says no • Refused consent to search and said bag had only clothing; then  opened the bag

• Elizabeth Taylor perfume bag revealed and block wrapped in duct  tape falls out

Velez (New York City) 

• Police see drug deal and broadcase description  

• Hispanic male, 20s, black leather jacket, grey pants, comb in back • 10 minutes after drug sale, officer makes arrest

• Velez had thick moustache and small goatee

• Arrest was of wrong man, but he had drugs on him


• 2 armed robberies

• 2 black males in black sports car

• 1 might be wearing white

• Car might be a Z-28 or Camaro

• Officer stops Nissan 300ZX – one black male visible

• Racism or probable cause  

Devenpeck v. Alford (2004) 

• Wannabe cop tries to help disabled auto

• Real cop comes by, and wannabe leaves

• Officer Haner pursues, sees Alford listening to special radio with  handcuffs and handheld police scanner in car

• Sgt. Devenpeck arrives, sees tape recorder on passenger seat • Arrests Alford for violation of WA privacy act

• Devenpeck consults with Deputy Prosecutor who recommends  charging with obstructing a public servant  

• Devenpeck charges privacy violation and flashing headlight violation • Both charges dismissed – Alford sues  

• 9th Circuit overturns judgment, finding that there was no evidence  to support the verdict of probable cause to arrest for impersonating  an office and obstructing an officer because they were not closely  related to offense of arrest

• Scalia: Subjective intent of officer is irrelevant  

• If there is probable cause the arrest is valid, whether or not the  officer had the right offense in mind

• Remands to the 9th Circuit for a determination of whether there was  sufficient evidence of probable cause  

MD v. Pringle (2003) 

• Office stops car, asks for license and registration

• Officer sees rolled-up money in glove compartment

• Driver consents to search

• Pringle was front seat passenger

• Cocaine found  

• Officer questions all 3 men and arrests them

• Pringle later confessed that the cocaine was his

• Trial judge denies motion to suppress

• Maryland Court of Appeals reverses – Sup Ct reinstates conviction  • Court distinguishes Ybarra

o Patdown of tavern customers incident to executing search  warrant

• Court distinguishes Di Re

o Reed seen holding ration coupons

o Officer arrests two other car occupants

o No probable cause

• Reasonable for officer to infer a common enterprise among the  three men

No Special 1st Amendment Standard 

• Probable cause justifies a warrant to seize pornography or  obscenity – they are not constitutionally protected

• But usually only 1 copy of each book, movie or magazine may be  seized and an adversary hearing must be held before the entire lot  may be seized  


• What if there is probable cause that a suspect has drugs either in  his home, his office, or his car – possibly in more than one of these  places

• Courts usually say there is probable cause for all three

9/14/16 2:10 PM

9/14/16 2:10 PM

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