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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Is the rule obsolete?

From the Youngstown News:
This summer marks the 50th anniversary of the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision Mapp v. Ohio. The case originated out of Cleveland, where police were looking for a fugitive and forced their way into Dollree Mapp’s apartment without her consent. While in the apartment the police confiscated illegal material and arrested Mapp.

Forty-seven years before Mapp the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that evidence collected in federal prosecutions that violated the Fourth Amendment ban against illegal search and seizures would be excluded from trial. The exclusionary rule, as it became known, was available to all defendants in federal court. However, the rule had not been recognized or applied by all states. Ohio was one of those states that did not recognize the exclusionary rule.

Mapp v. Ohio changed the nation’s jurisprudential landscape. Mapp explicitly held that the exclusionary rule applies to the states and as a result state prosecutors could not use evidence gained by illegal or improper means to obtain a conviction.

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