Mapp vs. Ohio

The Mapp Vs Ohio Supreme Court Case was a turning point in our nation\'s history. It changed our legal system by forming the exclusionary rule, which in turn changed the way prosecution of a criminal is performed. On May 23, 1957, three Cleveland police officers arrived at Dolly Mapp’s home. They had reason to believe that paraphernalia and a fugitive of a recent bombing had been hiding out there. The officers asked if they could search the home without a search warrant, with the advice of her attorney she refused. Three hours later, four more police officers arrived to the scene. They knocked on the door but Ms. Mapp did not respond immediately. The officers then forcibly entered the home by knocking down the door and windows. Ms. Mapp demanded to see a warrant; but an officer showed her a blank piece of paper that he claimed to be a warrant. An aggravated with the situation, Ms. Mapp took the warrant and wiped her bosom with it. The officers arrested her an account she was "belligerent" and "rude". While Ms. Mapp was in handcuffs, the police conducted an extremely though search of the house by breaking things and search through private drawers and desk. They found no evidence of a fugitive and of anything bomb related, however they did find some lewd, and lavacious reading materials that were illegal in Ohio. Ms. 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 vs. Colorado; but Ms. Mapp appealed claiming it violated due process of law. In a 5-3 vote, 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 effected 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, claming that the due process clause of the fourteenth amendment did not incorporate the 9th and 10th amendments. Suggesting that the due process did not protect non-specified rights or was due process permanently defined within the states. Therefore, according to this case, the state of Ohio was completely justified in convicting Ms. Mapp for her possession of pornography. Since privacy and security is not one of our basic, listed rights, due process does not have to apply to protecting these rights. And certainly since due process in not laid out in black and white, Ohio could rule and construct due process in any way they saw fit. The Supreme Court of Ohio did convict Ms. Mapp on her possession of pornography. However, she appealed to the United States Supreme Court in 1961, and the Court saw it necessary to review this issue and see what Wolf needed to be overruled.

After reviewing the case, the Court ruled in favor of Ms. Mapp and the exclusionary rule was developed. This rule said that illegally seized evidence could not be used to convict a person in a court of law. The Court came about this reason for two key reasons: it did not coincide with the fourth and fourteenth amendments of the Constitution. Justice Clack made these ideas clear in his opinion when he said "The ignoble shortcut to conviction left open to the state tends to destroy the entire system of constitutional restraints on which the liberties of the people rest. Having once recognized that the right to privacy embodied in the Fourth amendment is enforceable against the States, and that the right to be secured against rude invasions of privacy by state officers, therefore, constitutional in origin, we can no longer permit that right to remain an empty promise. Because it is enforceable in the same manner and to like effects as other basic rights secured by the Due Process Clause, we can no longer permit it to be revocable at the whim of any police officer who, in the name of law enforcement itself, chooses to suspend its enjoyment. Our decision, founded