Mapp Vs Ohio

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

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This case deals with the Fourth Amendment's right to have privacy in that there will be no illegal search and seizures. The incident started when three Cleveland police officers went to Mrs. Mapp's house after being notified that there may be a fugitive hiding in her home. She refused entry to the police on the advice of her attorney. The police preceded to surrounded the house, and three hours later, they broke into the house. Mapp demanded to see a warrant, and when an officer held up a piece of paper claiming that it was a warrant, she grabbed it and stuffed it down her shirt. Although there was no fugitive found on the premises, there were several "lewd and lascivious books and pictures" in her possession, and she was convicted of this crime, even though there was never a warrant produced.

Although the case was overturned in the supreme court, I don't understand why the court in Ohio even thought that she was guilty, because although she had the materials, they were definitely wrongly seized.

Until a warrant was produced, I think there shouldn't have been any question of guilt or innocence. The police shouldn't have even been able begin surveillance outside of her house, because that is morally wrong, although it is constitutional. I agree with what Justice Tom C. Clark stated when he wrote for the majority, "Nothing can destroy a government more quickly than its failure to observe its own laws." I am certainty glad that the decision was reversed, and I am glad to see that most of the time, the system of government we uphold and obey works for us.