Throughout history, there have been numerous litigations that pertain to an individual’s Fourth Amendment rights; however, there are three proceedings that changed the way law enforcement is able to search and seize properties in order for it to be admissible in court. The outcomes of Weeks v. United States, Silverthorne Lumber Company, Inc. v. United States, and Mapp v. Ohio created regulations that gave the American citizens back their Fourth Amendment rights.
Before these three lawsuits were tried by the courts, materials seized without a search warrant could be admissible in court. The police felt that a warrant was not necessary for a conviction and the courts found ways to twist the laws in their favor. The Fourth Amendment gives Americans the right to be secure in homes and properties as follows:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. (Reuters, 2013)
This Amendment was set into place to prevent misconstruction or abuse of the power of the Constitution of the United States. In other words, to protect the people of the United States while preventing the states and government from abusing their powers and twisting the laws in order to benefit their illegal seizures.
To begin with, in the trial of Weeks v. United States, the police were seeking evidence to prove that Weeks was transporting lottery tickets through the mail, which was considered illegal gambling in the state of Missouri. The police entered Weeks’ place of residence without a warrant and took documents that led to Weeks’ arrest and conviction. The question in this case was if this search and seizure violated Weeks’ Fourth Amendment rights. Several trials were quoted throughout this litigation; however, the main lawsuits that were enforced in order to conclude in this litigation are Wise v. Henkel, Rex v. Barnett, Rex v. Kinsey, United States v. Mills, United States v. McHie, and Twining v. New Jersey. The law is applied to these proceedings by the precedents, or similar lawsuits, to show desired outcomes. In this trial, Twining v. New Jersey was the main case used to make the ultimate decision, since its outcome was similar to the desired outcome of this litigation. The conclusion in this lawsuit was that the judgment should be reversed and the proceedings should be remanded for further proceedings, since the documents were obtained in violation to Weeks’ Fourth Amendment right. This lawsuit influenced the courts to create the exclusionary rule, which states that evidence may be inadmissible if it is obtained illegally. According to Benner, Bird, and Smythe, “Most scholars and courts agree that if the Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures is to be...