In 1961, the US Supreme Court rendered its decision in Mapp v. Ohio. The case involved an unlawful, warrantless search of Dollree Mapp’s apartment by the police looking for a fugitive. During the search, the police came across illegal pornography and charged Mapp with the possession of obscene materials. The US Supreme Court reversed Mapp’s conviction.
The most significant result of this decision was the formation of the “exclusionary rule” for state prosecutions. At the time, the new rule certainly had an impact on US policing, as exemplified in the New York City Police Department (NYPD). In the year prior to the Mapp case, the NYPD had not secured a single search warrant. In the year after the Mapp case, the NYPD secured and executed over seven hundred search warrants. The number of secured search warrants rapidly increased in the coming years. But the rule continues to be controversial.
By Saturday, July 4, 2015, in a minimum of 250 words, post to the Discussion Area your response to the following:
- What is the exclusionary rule, and what was the court’s purpose in creating it?
- Do you agree with the court that such a rule is needed?
- Is the exclusionary rule still relevant in light of the deterrent of civil liability for police officers?
- If so, should there be exceptions to the use of this rule? If it is not needed, should laws be passed to bar the courts from using it? Explain and justify your response.