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Criminal Law Keyed to Gershowitz
Mapp v. Ohio
Citation:367 U.S. 643, 81 S.Ct. 1684, 6 L.Ed.2d 1081.
On May 23, 1957, three Cleveland police officers arrived the defendant’s home pursuant to information that “a person [was] hiding out in the home, who was wanted for questioning in connection with a recent bombing, and that there was a large amount of policy paraphernalia being hidden in the home.” The defendant after telephoning her attorney, refused to admit them without a search warrant.
The officers again sought entrance three hours later when four or more additional officers arrived on the scene. When the defendant did not come to the door immediately, at least one of the several doors to the house was forcibly opened and the policemen gained admittance. A paper, claimed to be a search warrant, was held up by one of the officers. The officers searched a dresser, a chest of drawers, a closet and some suitcases. They also looked into a photo album and through personal papers belonging to the appellant. The search spread to the rest of the second floor including her child’s bedroom, the living room, the kitchen and a dinette. The basement of the building and a trunk found therein were also searched. The officers discovered obscene materials.
At the trial no search warrant was produced by the prosecution, nor was the failure to produce one explained or accounted for. There is, in the record, considerable doubt as to whether there ever was any warrant for the search of defendant’s home. The defendant was convicted under Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2905.34, which prohibited the possession of lewd and lascivious books and pictures. She appealed.
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