Rights of the Accused--You Decide

 

Case One

Acting on information indicating that respondent Greenwood might be engaged in narcotics trafficking, police twice obtained from his regular trash collector garbage bags left on the curb in front of his house. On the basis of items in the bags that were indicative of narcotics use, the police obtained warrants to search the house, discovered controlled substances during the searches, and arrested respondents on felony narcotics charges. Finding that probable cause to search the house would not have existed without the evidence obtained from the trash searches, the state court dismissed the charges, ruling that warantless trash searches violate the Fourth Amendment. The state appealed the court’s decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.

 

Was this a violation of the Fourth Amendment?

 

 

Case Two

M.D.B., who was 16-years-old and riding a bike, ran a stop sign and turned the wrong way down a one-way street nearly hitting a squad car. The uniformed officer in the squad car swerved to avoid M.D.B., got out of the car and told M.D.B. that he was going to give him a ticket for running the stop sign. The officer was concerned that M.D.B. might flee the scene because he appeared nervous and was “looking around as if to find an escape route” and had no identification. Officer decided to put M.D. B. in the squad car. First, the officer asked the defendant if he had any weapons on him. M.D.B. started flailing his arms and yelling that he did not want the officer to beat him. The officer placed M.D.B. in a bear hug to subdue him. There was a scuffle and a gun from M.D.B.’s waistband was tossed to the grass.

 

Was the gun found in M.D.B.’s possession the product of a lawful search?

 

 

Case Three

A man driving on the highway called 911 and reported a drunk in front of him swerving around on the road. The man described the vehicle, gave the license plate number, and told the dispatcher were the vehicle was heading. The man gave the dispatcher his name, but the dispatcher did not ask for an address or telephone number. A police officer heard the call and spotted the vehicle based on the caller’s description. He stopped the car that matched the caller’s description and arrested the driver for DWI. The caller could not be located later.

 

Was the informant’s tip sufficiently reliable to justify the traffic stop?

 

 

Case Four

At about 11 p.m, two police officers noticed a car with a broken driver-side passenger window, covered with a plastic bag. Suspecting the car was stolen, they began to follow it. They followed it for four blocks, noticing nothing unusual. They checked the computer to see if it had been reported stolen. It had not. Then they stopped the vehicle, reporting to the dispatcher that they were stopping a “suspicious” vehicle. When they questioned the driver they noticed signs of intoxication. They arrested the driver. Blood tests showed driver’s blood alcohol content exceeded .20.

 

Was the investigatory stop of the car legal?

 

Case Five

G.S.P., a seventh grader, forgot his backpack in the locker room after a football game. The backpack was found by the janitor who looked inside to find identification. He spotted a BB gun and took the bag with the gun to the assistant principal’s office. The next morning the assistant principal called the police, asking the officer to come to school as soon as possible. When the officer arrived, they went to the student’s classroom. The officer accompanied the student to the principal’s office. He was not told why he was being taken from class and he felt he had no choice but to go with them. G.S.P. was interviewed by the officer and three others for about an hour. G.S.P. was told he had no choice but to answer the questions, he was not told that he could talk to his parents, that he had a right to an attorney, or that he was free to leave. G.S.P. explained that the gun was his, that he had taken it over to a friend’s house a week earlier, and that he had forgotten about it. G.S.P. was expelled from school and charged with a delinquency.

 

Was G.S.P. in custody when interrogated and therefore entitled to a Miranda warning?

 

Case Six

Gideon was charged in a Florida state court with a felony for breaking and entering. He lacked funds and was unable to hire a lawyer to prepare his defense. When he requested the court to appoint an attorney for him, the court refused, stating that it was only obligated to appoint counsel to indigent defendants in capital cases. Gideon defended himself in the trial; he was convicted by a jury and the court sentenced him to five years in a state prison.

 

Did the state court's failure to appoint counsel for Gideon violate his right to a fair trial and due process of law as protected by the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments?

 

 

Case Seven

A jury found Gregg guilty of armed robbery and murder and sentenced him to death. On appeal, the Georgia Supreme Court affirmed the death sentence except as to its imposition for the robbery conviction. Gregg challenged his remaining death sentence for murder, claiming that his capital sentence was "cruel and unusual" punishment under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments.

 

Is the imposition of the death sentence prohibited under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments as "cruel and unusual" punishment?

 

Case Eight

Petitioners, the Michigan State Police Department and its Director, established a highway sobriety checkpoint program with guidelines governing checkpoint operations, site selection, and publicity. During the only operation to date, 126 vehicles passed through the checkpoint, the average delay per vehicle was 25 seconds, and two drivers were arrested for driving under the influence. The day before that operation, respondents, licensed Michigan drivers, filed suit in a county court. After a trial, at which the court heard extensive testimony concerning, among other things, the "effectiveness" of such programs, the court applied the balancing test of Brown v. Texas, 443 U.S. 47, and ruled that the State's program violated the Fourth Amendment. The State Court of Appeals affirmed, agreeing with the lower court's findings that the State has a "grave and legitimate" interest in curbing drunken driving; that sobriety checkpoint programs are generally ineffective and, therefore, do not significantly further that interest; and that, while the checkpoints' objective intrusion on individual liberties is slight, their "subjective intrusion" is substantial.

 

Case Nine

A teacher in a New Jersey high school discovered two girls smoking in the lavatory, in violation of a school rule. They were taken to the vice principal's office and questioned. When T.L.O., a 14-year-old, denied that she had been smoking, the vice principal demanded to see her purse. He found a pack of cigarettes and also noticed rolling papers, which are commonly associated with marijuana. The vice principal then searched her purse and found marijuana, a pipe, plastic bags, a large amount of money, and written materials that implicated T.L.O. in drug dealing. The police were notified. T.L.O. confessed, and she was charged with delinquency.

 

Are student searches conducted by school officials without probable cause in violation of the Fourth Amendment?

 

Case Ten

An official investigation led to the discovery that high school athletes in the Vernonia School District participated in illicit drug use. School officials were concerned that drug use increases the risk of sports‑related injury. Consequently, the Vernonia School District of Oregon adopted the Student Athlete Drug Policy, which authorizes random urinalysis drug testing of its student athletes. James Acton, a student, was denied participation in his school's football program when he and his parents refused to consent to the testing.

 

Does random drug testing of high school athletes violate the Reasonable Search and Seizure Clause of the Fourth Amendment?

 

Case Eleven

Ernesto Miranda was an uneducated, small-time criminal, who was arrested in 1963 in Arizona on kidnapping, rape and robbery charges resulting from an attack on an 18-yaer-old Phoenix move theater attendant.  At police headquarters, Miranda was placed in a line-up with three other Mexican men of similar height and build.  Although the victim could not positively identify Miranda as her attacker, she did say that he bore the closest resemblance to her attacker. 

Miranda was taken into the interrogation room.  He was not advised of his rights because the law did not require such notice at that time.  He was told inaccurately that he had been positively identified and then asked if he wanted to make a statement.  Miranda was a seriously disturbed man was particularly susceptible to psychological pressure, and he confessed after about two hours of questioning.  Miranda signed a written confession, which was introduced during his trial.  He was convicted and sentenced to two concurrent sentences of 20-30 years imprisonment. His conviction was affirmed by the Arizona Supreme Court and appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.  There his case was heard along with several other defendants making the same argument.

 

Did the practice of incommunicado interrogation of the police, without full warning of constitutional rights provided to the defendant, infringe upon the right against self‑incrimination guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment?

 

 

Case Twelve

In 1964, 15‑year‑old Gerald Gault was taken into custody for making obscene telephone calls.  A Mrs. Cook had reported the boys to a police officer.  Gerald’s parents were at work when he was taken into custody. The police did not notify them that their son was being taken to the local detention home.  When they finally learned where their son was, they were told to report to juvenile court the next day for a hearing.  They did not know why Gerald was being held.

During the hearing, Mrs. Cook was not present to testify.  Instead, the police officer testified about what Mrs. Cook had told him. Gerald had no lawyer and no transcript was made of the hearing. After the hearing, the juvenile court judge ordered Gerald committed to the State Industrial School as a juvenile delinquent until the age of 21.  (An adult found guilty of the same crime would have been sentenced to a fine of $5-50 or imprisonment for up to two months.) Gerald’s parents appealed the case, challenging the constitutionality of the Arizona Juvenile Code and the procedure actually used in Gerald's case on the ground of denial of various procedural due process rights.

 

Is a juvenile entitled to procedural due process guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment?

 

 

Case Thirteen

            In May 1957, three police officers went to Ms. Mapp's apartment because they had information that there was a suspect hiding in her home.  They wanted to question in connection with a recent bombing.  They also believed there was a large amount of gambling equipment in her apartment.

            The officers arrived at Ms. Mapp's apartment, knocked on the door and demanded that she allow them entrance.  Ms. Mapp phoned her attorney, and he advised her not to allow them in without a warrant.

            About three hours later, four more officers arrived at Ms. Mapp's apartment.  They knocked on the door.  When Ms. Mapp didn't immediately open the door, the door was opened by force, and the police entered the apartment.

            Ms. Mapp's attorney arrived at her apartment, but the policemen refused to let him see her, see the search warrant, or enter the house.  Ms. Mapp demanded the police to let her see a warrant.  Ms. Mapp grabbed a blank piece of paper that the officer held up claiming it to be a warrant and placed it in her bosom.  The officer struggled with Ms. Mapp to recover the piece of paper.  In the struggle, the police managed to handcuff her.

            After being handcuffed, Ms. Mapp was taken upstairs to her bedroom where the policemen searched a dresser, chest of drawers, closet, and suitcase.  The second floor and a trunk in the basement were searched.  During their search of the trunk they discovered obscene materials (nude pictures, etc.).

            Ms. Mapp was arrested and charged with having obscene materials. At the trial no search warrant was produced by the prosecution, nor was the failure to produce one explained or accounted for.  At best (as the Ohio Supreme Court, which affirmed the conviction, expressed it), "there is, in the record, considerable doubt as to whether there ever was any warrant for the search of defendant's home ...."  Ms. Mapp was convicted and sentenced to serve seven years in prison.  She appealed to the Supreme Court claiming her Constitutional rights had been violated.

 

Is evidence obtained through a search in violation of the Fourth Amendment admissible in a state criminal proceeding?                

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Answers

 

Case One:

The Fourth Amendment does not prohibit the warrantless search and seizure of garbage left for collection outside the curtilage of a home.

            Since respondents voluntarily left their trash for collection an area particularly suited for public inspection, their claimed expectation of privacy in the items they discarded was not objectively reasonable. It is common knowledge that plastic garbage bags left along a public street are readily accessible to animals, children, scavengers, snoops, and other members of the public. The police cannot reasonably be expected to avert their eyes from evidence of criminal activity that could have been observed by any member of the public.  California v. Greenwood, 486 U.S. 35 (1988)

 

Case Two:

No. A police officer may not perform a limited protective weapons search of a person stopped for a routine traffic offense based solely on a possible risk of flight absent any evidence that the person is armed and dangerous, poses a threat to the officer’s safety, or is involved in a more serious crime. The court held that “an officer may conduct a limited protective weapons frisk of a lawfully stopped person if the officer has an objective articulable basis for thinking that the person may be armed and dangerous,” (Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968)) and that a frisk is improper during a routine stop for a minor traffic violation absent additional suspicious or threatening circumstances. (State v. Varnado, 582 N.W.2d 886 (Minn.1998). In the Matter of the Welfare of M.D.B.  Minnesota Court of Appeals, C2-99-207 (October 5, 1999) Appeal to the Supreme Court denied.

 

Case Three:

Yes. There is reasonable suspicion to support an investigatory traffic stop when an informant who reports that he is following a drunk driver gives his name, direction of travel, and location in relation to the suspected vehicle; describes the driving conduct of the suspect driver; and tells the dispatcher that a patrol car has arrived on the scene, even if police do not later locate the informant to confirm his identity. Jobe v. Commissioner of Public Safety, Minnesota Court of Appeals, C4-99-1858, (May 9, 2000)

 

 

Case Four

No. Limited stops as the one in this case used to investigate suspected criminal activity are commonly known as Terry stops. Under Terry v. Ohio, police can conduct limited stops to investigate suspected criminal activity when the police can point to “specific and articulable facts which taken together with rational inferences from those facts, reasonably warrant that intrusion.” To justify a stop, the officers must have more than a hunch. The court said that a broken window could just as likely indicate that the driver of the car was the victim of a crime instead of the perpetrator of a crime. A broken window alone was not suspicious enough. State of Minnesota v. Britton, Minnesota Supreme Court C9-98-968 (January 13, 2000)

 

 

 

Case Five

Yes. The court must ask whether a reasonable person in G.S.P.’s situation believed that he was in custody? If the answer is yes, the Miranda warning must be given. Custodial interrogation is questioning initiated by law enforcement officers after a person has been taken into custody or otherwise deprived of his freedom of action in any significant way. The Miranda warning must be given by all those who use the power of the state to elicit an incriminating response from a suspect, regardless of whether they are law enforcement personnel. (State v. Tibiatowski (Minn. 1999). When applying the custodial interrogation standard, courts determine whether the defendant is in custody by considering the surrounding circumstances. The fact that the questioning occurred in school does not lessen the importance of Fifth Amendment safeguards. Also, the presence of a police officer does not alone transform a discussion into an interrogation. But where a uniformed officer summons a juvenile from the classroom to the office and actively participates in the questioning, the circumstances suggest the coercive influence associated with a formal arrest and therefore the constitutional protections must be present. In the Matter of the Welfare of G.S.P., Minnesota Court of Appeals, C7-99-1028, (April 25, 2000).

 

Case Six

In a unanimous opinion, the Court held that Gideon had a right to be represented by a court‑appointed attorney and, in doing so, overruled its 1942 decision of Betts v. Brady. In this case the Court found that the Sixth Amendment's guarantee of counsel was a fundamental right, essential to a fair trial, which should be made applicable to the states through the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Justice Black called it an "obvious truth" that a fair trial for a poor defendant could not be guaranteed without the assistance of counsel. Those familiar with the American system of justice, commented Black, recognized that "lawyers in criminal courts are necessities, not luxuries."

Gideon v. Wainwright,  372 U.S. 335 (1963)

 

Case Seven

No. In a 7‑to‑2 decision, the Court held that a punishment of death did not violate the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments under all circumstances. In extreme criminal cases, such as when a defendant has been convicted of deliberately killing another, the careful and judicious use of the death penalty may be appropriate if carefully employed. Georgia's death penalty statute ensures the judicious and careful use of the death penalty by requiring a bifurcated proceeding in which the trial and sentencing are conducted separately, specific jury findings as to the severity of the crime and the nature of the defendant (aggravating and mitigating circumstances), and a comparison of each capital sentence's circumstances with other similar cases. Moreover, the Court was not prepared to overrule the Georgia legislature's finding that capital punishment serves as a useful deterrent to future capital crimes and an appropriate means of social retribution against its most serious offenders.

Gregg v. Georgia, (1976) 428 U.S. 153

 

Case Eight

The highway sobriety checkpoint program is consistent with the Fourth Amendment

 (a) United States v. Martinez‑Fuerte, 428 U.S. 543 ‑‑ which utilized a balancing test in upholding checkpoints for detecting illegal aliens ‑‑ and Brown v. Texas, supra, are the relevant authorities to be used in evaluating the constitutionality of the State's program. Treasury Employees v. Von Raab, 489 U.S. 656, was not designed to repudiate this Court's prior cases dealing with police stops of motorists on public highways and, thus, does not forbid the use of a balancing test here.

(b) A Fourth Amendment "seizure" occurs when a vehicle is stopped at a checkpoint. Thus, the question here is whether such seizures are "reasonable."

(c) There is no dispute about the magnitude of, and the States' interest in eradicating, the drunken driving problem. The courts below accurately gauged the "objective" intrusion, measured by the seizure's duration and the investigation's intensity, as minimal. However, they [p*445] misread this Court's cases concerning the degree of "subjective intrusion" and the potential for generating fear and surprise. The "fear and surprise" to be considered are not the natural fear of one who has been drinking over the prospect of being stopped at a checkpoint but, rather, the fear and surprise engendered in law abiding motorists by the nature of the particular stop, such as one made by a roving patrol operating on a seldom‑traveled road. Here, checkpoints are selected pursuant to guidelines, and uniformed officers stop every vehicle. The resulting intrusion is constitutionally indistinguishable from the stops upheld in Martinez‑Fuerte. Michigan Department of State Police v. Sitz 496 U.S. 444 (1990)

 

Case Nine

No, while students do have a reasonable expectation of privacy, schools are special environments and this, coupled with the special characteristics of teacher‑student relationships, "makes it unnecessary to afford students the same constitutional protections granted adults and juveniles in non‑school settings." Rather than "probable cause," a "reasonable grounds" standard is acceptable in the school context. When weighing the child's interest in privacy against the interest of school officials in maintaining discipline in the classroom and on school grounds, the latter is more compelling.

The Court explained that the Fourth Amendment's prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures applies to searches conducted by public school officials, and is not limited to searches carried out by law enforcement officers.  In cases of search, school officials are acting as representatives of the state and not as representatives of the parents.

(This is important because parents are not governed by the Fourth Amendment.)

            The Court also noted that students have a legitimate expectation of privacy. They may find it necessary to carry with them a variety of legitimate, noncontraband items of a personal nature, and there is no reason to conclude that they have necessarily waived all rights to privacy in such items by bringing them onto school grounds. But striking the balance between students’ legitimate expectations of privacy and the school's equally legitimate need to maintain an environment in which learning can take place requires some easing of the search requirements of probable cause.   The legality of a search of a student should depend simply on the reasonableness, under all the circumstances, of the search.  Therefore, the search of a student by a school official will be justified if there are reasonable grounds for believing that the search will turn up evidence that the student has violated the law or the rules of the school. New Jersey v. T.L.O. 469 U.S. 325 (1985)


Case Ten

No. The reasonableness of a search is judged by "balancing the intrusion on the individual's Fourth Amendment interests against the promotion of legitimate governmental interests." High school athletes who are under state supervision during school hours are subject to greater control than free adults are subject to. The privacy interests compromised by urine samples are negligible because the conditions of collection are similar to public restrooms, and the results are only viewed by limited authorities. Furthermore, the governmental concern over the safety of minors under their supervision overrides the minimal intrusion in student athletes' privacy. Vernonia School District v. Acton 94-590 (1995)

 

Case Eleven

(The Supreme Court considered the constitutionality of a number of instances in which defendants were questioned "while in custody or otherwise deprived of [their] freedom in any significant way." In Vignera v. New York, the defendant was questioned by police, made oral admissions, and signed a statement, all without being notified of his right to counsel. In Westover v. United States, the defendant was arrested by the FBI, interrogated, and made to sign statements without being notified of his right to counsel. Lastly, in California v. Stewart, local police held and interrogated the defendant for five days without notification of his right to counsel. In all these cases, suspects were questioned by police officers, detectives, or prosecuting attorneys in rooms that cut them off from the outside world. In none of the cases were suspects given warnings of their rights at the outset of the interrogation process.)

The Court held that prosecutors could not use statements stemming from custodial interrogation of defendants unless they demonstrated the use of procedural safeguards "effective to secure the privilege against self‑incrimination." The Court noted that "the modern practice of in‑custody interrogation is psychologically rather than physically oriented" and that "the blood of the accused is not the only hallmark of an unconstitutional inquisition." The Court specifically outlined the necessary aspects of police warnings to suspects, including warnings of the right to remain silent and the right to have counsel present during interrogations. (5-4 Decision)

Although Miranda successfully challenged his conviction, he was reconvicted in a new trial, sentence to two concurrent 20-30 year sentences (one for each count) and sent to prison.  He was paroled in 1972 and made a living selling autographed copies of the “Miranda card” on courthouse steps in Phoenix.  He was stabbed to death in 1976 during a fight over a $3 poker bet in a bar in Phoenix.

 

The Supreme Court’s Holding:

The prosecution may not use statements, whether exculpatory or inculpatory, stemming from questioning initiated by law enforcement officers after a person has been taken into custody or otherwise deprived of his freedom of action in any significant way, unless it demonstrates the use of procedural safeguards effective to secure the Fifth Amendment's privilege against self‑incrimination.

a) The atmosphere and environment of incommunicado interrogation as it exists today is inherently intimidating, and works to undermine the privilege against self‑incrimination. Unless adequate preventive measures are taken to dispel the compulsion inherent in custodial surroundings, no statement obtained from the defendant can truly be the product of his free choice.

(b) The privilege against self‑incrimination, which has had a long and expansive historical development, is the essential mainstay of our adversary system, and guarantees to the individual the "right to remain silent unless he chooses to speak in the unfettered exercise of his own will," during a period of custodial interrogation as well as in the courts or during the course of other official investigations.

(c) In the absence of other effective measures, the following procedures to safeguard the Fifth Amendment privilege must be observed: the person in custody must, prior to interrogation, be clearly informed that he has the right to remain silent, and that anything he says will be used against him in court; he must be clearly informed that he has the right to consult with a lawyer and to have the lawyer with him during interrogation, and that, if he is indigent, a lawyer will be appointed to represent him.

(d) The defendant may waive effectuation of these rights, provided the waiver is made voluntarily, knowingly, and intelligently.

(e) If the individual indicates, prior to or during questioning, that he wishes to remain silent, the interrogation must cease; if he states that he wants an attorney, the questioning must cease until an attorney is present.

(f) Where an interrogation is conducted without the presence of an attorney and a statement is taken, a heavy burden rests on the Government to demonstrate that the defendant knowingly and intelligently waived his right to counsel.

Miranda v. Arizona 384 U.S. 436 (1966)

 

Case Twelve

Yes.  Justice Fortas, writing for the majority, said that children are entitled to notice of specific charges, to get notice in advance of the hearing to permit preparation, and to have assistance of counsel.  The Court also held that protection against self-incrimination and the right to confront and cross-examine witnesses were necessary in the juvenile court.

The Court stated “admissions and confessions by juveniles require special caution” as to their reliability and voluntariness and “it would indeed be surprising if the privilege against self-incrimination were available to hardened criminals, but not to children.” In  re Gault, 387 U.S. 1 (1967)

 

Case Thirteen

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled by a 5-4 vote that her Fourth Amendment right to be secure from unreasonable searches and seizures had been violated by the action of the police.  The exclusionary rule, which had been used in federal trials, was applied to trials in state court, and her conviction was overturned.  The exclusionary rule is a method of enforcing the protections provided by the Fourth Amendment by excluding evidence obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment from a criminal trial.

            The Court said "Today we once again ... examine the constitutional documentation of the right to privacy free from unreasonable state intrusion, and, after its dozen years on our books, are led by it to close the only courtroom door remaining open to evidence secured by official lawlessness in flagrant abuse of that basic right, reserved to all persons as a specific guarantee against that very same unlawful conduct.  We hold that all evidence obtained by searches and seizures in violation of the Constitution is, by that same authority, inadmissible in a state court." Mapp v. Ohio 367 U.S. 643 (1961)

 

 

 

 

 

Minnesota Center for Community Legal Education, 2001
Rights of the Accused

 

In the following situations, decide if behavior regulated by the Fourth, Fifth. Sixth, or Eighth Amendments has been conducted. Please indicate which amendment is involved, if it was violated, and how it was violated..

 

1.      A police officer walking down a dark street notices an abandoned car, shines his flashlight in the car, and discovers a shotgun in the back seat.

 

Which amendment involved?

 

Was it violated?          How?

 

 

2.      Harry is walking down the street. The police stop him and look through the suitcase he is carrying.

 

Which amendment involved?

 

Was it violated?          How?

 

 

3.      As a police officer walks by house with its front door open, he sees a bike that has been reported stolen.

 

Which amendment involved?

 

Was it violated?          How?

 

 

4.      A police officer climbs through a window in Andrea’s house and looks at papers on her desk.

 

Which amendment involved?

 

Was it violated?          How?

 

 

5.      A police officer notices marijuana growing in Tom’s side yard.

 

Which amendment involved?

 

Was it violated?          How?

 

6.      John is arrested based on an anonymous telephone tip and taken to jail

 

Which amendment involved?

 

Was it violated?          How?

 

7.      George’s car is stopped at the border by police.

 

Which amendment involved?

 

Was it violated?          How?

 

 

8.      A garage mechanic who is working on Joe’s car notices some marijuana cigarettes under the seat and turns them over to the police.

 

Which amendment involved?

 

Was it violated?          How?

 

9.      The police see Joe—a known pusher—standing at a bus stop in the business district of the city. They stop and search him, and find a bag of marijuana in his pocket.

 

Which amendment involved?

 

Was it violated?          How?

 

10.  The police sneak into Joe’s yard after dark, climb over a fence into his garden and find marijuana growing.

 

Which amendment involved?

 

Was it violated?          How?

 

11.  When the police arrest Joe for speeding, they also search his trunk and find marijuana there.

 

Which amendment involved?

 

Was it violated?          How?

 

12.  The police go to Joe’s house. His wife agrees to let them search the house for marijuana. They find marijuana in a kitchen cabinet.

 

Which amendment involved?

 

Was it violated?          How?

 

13.  Joe is arrested for burglary. A police officer searches his clothing and finds a cigarette case filled with marijuana.

 

Which amendment involved?

 

Was it violated?          How?

 

14.  After Joe spends the night at a hotel, the police ask the maids to turn over the contents of the wastebaskets and they find cocaine.

 

Which amendment involved?

 

Was it violated?          How?

 

15.  The police see Joe driving a car that was reported carrying stolen merchandize. They stop him, search the car, and find drugs.

 

Which amendment involved?

 

Was it violated?          How?

 

16.  The police see Joe pacing back and forth nervously in front of a jewelry store in an area of the city where there have recently been a series of jewelry store robberies. An officer stops and frisks Joe, feels something he thinks is a gun, and pulls out a metal container filled with drugs.

 

Which amendment involved?

 

Was it violated?          How?

 

17.  Joe’s neighbors report that screams are coming from his house. The police arrive to investigate and they also hear screams. When no one answers their knock, they enter the house and find cocaine on the dining room table.

 

Which amendment involved?

 

Was it violated?          How?

 

 

18.  G.S.P., a seventh grader, left his backpack with a BB gun in it in the locker room after a football game. Janitor found the gun when looking for identification. The next day, the boy was taken from class by a police officer and the assistant principal and was brought to the principal’s office. G.S.P. was interviewed for one hour and told he had to answer the questions. He was not told he could talk his parents or that he could talk to an attorney or that he was free to leave.

 

Which amendment involved?

 

Was it violated?          How?

 

19.  The trial court judge, trying to save his friend who was the defendant in a prostitution case from embarrassment, closed the trial to the public.

 

Which amendment involved?

 

Was it violated?          How?

 

20.  Sam was arrested and charged with assaulting a convenience store clerk. He had been identified by the hospitalized victim using a photo line-up. He was fingerprinted. He did not yet have a lawyer.

 

Which amendment involved?

 

Was it violated?          How?

 

21.  Police arrested JD for burglary. Although JD requested a lawyer, they continued to question him about the burglary, insisting that he was required to answer the questions.

 

Which amendment involved?

 

Was it violated?          How?

 

22.  Police were called to the scene of a car bombing. There were injuries but no deaths. Police interviewed many witnesses. Some witnesses refused to talk to the police.

 

Which amendment involved?

 

Was it violated?          How?

 

23.  Savannah, 17 years old, dropped out of school when she was 16. She had been enrolled in special education classes. Her intelligence test scores have ranged from 63 to70. She was charged with attempted murder of her boyfriend whom she repeatedly stabbed with a screwdriver. She waived her right to a lawyer.

 

Which amendment involved?

 

Was it violated?          How?

 

24.  Fowler, age 16, was charged with burglarizing a Post Office. She had never been arrested before, never been in jail, never even been questioned by the police. During police questioning her father kept telling her to “tell the truth or you’ll get in lots more trouble.” When she was advised of her right to a lawyer, she said she didn’t want one.

 

Which amendment involved?

 

Was it violated?          How?

 

25.  The legislature is trying to create a sentence that will stop drunk driving. One senator has a bill that would require persons convicted of a DWI to have DWI added in large orange letters to their drivers’ licenses and car license plates.

 

Which amendment involved?

 

Was it violated?          How?

 

26.  A state that uses the death penalty has a new law that says the death penalty can be used on children as young as ten years old.

 

Which amendment involved?

 

Was it violated?          How?

 

 

 

 

 

 


Rights of the Accused

ANSWERS

 

In the following situations, decide if behavior regulated by the Fourth, Fifth. Sixth, or Eighth Amendments has been conducted. Please indicate which amendment is involved, if it was violated, and how it was violated.

 

1.     A police officer walking down a dark street notices an abandoned car, shines his flashlight in the car, and discovers a shotgun in the back seat.

 

Which amendment involved?             Fourth

 

Was it violated? No    How?  No search because there was no expectation of privacy.

 

 

2.     Harry is walking down the street. The police stop him and look through the suitcase he is carrying.

 

Which amendment involved?             Fourth

 

Was it violated? Yes    How?  No probable cause for search. No reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S.1 (1968)

 

 

3.     As a police officer walks by house with its front door open, he looks inside and sees a bike that has been reported stolen.

 

Which amendment involved?             Fourth

 

Was it violated? Yes    How? No expectation of privacy when something is in plain view. Arizona v. Hicks, 480 U.S. 321 (1987)

 

 

4.     A police officer climbs through a window in Andrea’s house and looks at papers on her desk.

 

Which amendment involved? Fourth

 

Was it violated? Yes    How? Illegal search. No warrant.

 

 

5.     A police officer notices marijuana growing in Tom’s side yard.

 

Which amendment involved? Fourth

 

Was it violated? No    How? The side yard in an “open field” therefore Tom had no expectation of privacy. Oliver v. U.S., 466 U.S. 1970 (1984)

 

6.     John is arrested based on an anonymous telephone tip and taken to jail.

 

Which amendment involved?             Fourth

 

Was it violated? Yes    How? Tip was not trustworthy.

 

7.     George’s car is stopped at the border by police.

 

Which amendment involved?             Fourth

 

Was it violated? No    How? Citizens and non-citizens have no 4th amendment rights at the border for national security purposes.

 

 

8.     A garage mechanic who is working on Joe’s car notices some marijuana cigarettes under the seat and turns them over to the police.

 

Which amendment involved?             Fourth

 

Was it violated? No    How? No government conduct. U.S. v. Jacobson, 466 U.S. 109 (1984)

 

9.     The police see Joe—a known pusher—standing at a bus stop in the business district of the city. They stop and search him, and find a bag of marijuana in his pocket.

 

Which amendment involved?             Fourth

 

Was it violated? Yes    How? Unreasonable search. No probable cause.

 

10.            The police sneak into Joe’s yard after dark, climb over a fence into his garden and find marijuana growing.

 

Which amendment involved?             Fourth

 

Was it violated? Yes    How? The garden was not an “open field” and therefore Joe had an expectation of privacy. Oliver v. U.S., 466 U.S. 1970 (1984)

 

11.            When the police arrest Joe for speeding, they also search his trunk and find marijuana there.

 

Which amendment involved?             Fourth

 

Was it violated? Yes    How? Search must be related to nature of offense. When Joe was arrested the search must be limited to Joe’s “wing span,” i.e. passenger compartment but not trunk. New York v. Belton, 453 U.S. 454 (1981)

 

12.            The police go to Joe’s house. His wife agrees to let them search the house for marijuana. They find marijuana in a kitchen cabinet.

 

Which amendment involved?             Fourth

 

Was it violated? No    How? Any person with an apparent equal right to use or occupy the property may consent to a search and any evidence found may be used against the other owners or occupants. U.S. v. Matlock, 415 U.S. 164 (1973)

 

13.            Joe is arrested for burglary. A police officer searches his clothing and finds a cigarette case filled with marijuana.

 

Which amendment involved?             Fourth

 

Was it violated? No    How? Valid search incident to arrest is legal even if officer doesn’t fear for his safety or fear destruction of evidence. U.S. v. Robinson, 414 U.S. 218 (1973)

 

14.            After Joe spends the night at a hotel, the police ask the maids to turn over the contents of the wastebaskets and they find cocaine.

 

Which amendment involved?             Fourth

 

Was it violated? No    How? No violation because no government action or expectation of privacy.

 

15.            The police see Joe driving a car that was reported carrying stolen merchandize. They stop him, search the car, and find drugs.

 

Which amendment involved?             Fourth

 

Was it violated? No    How? If the police have probable cause to search a vehicle they can search the entire vehicle, including the trunk, and all containers that might contain the object they are searching for. U.S. v. Ross, 456 U.S. 798 (1982)

 

16.            The police see Joe pacing back and forth nervously in front of a jewelry store in an area of the city where there have recently been a series of jewelry store robberies. An officer stops and frisks Joe, feels something he thinks is a gun, and pulls out a metal container filled with drugs.

 

Which amendment involved?             Fourth

 

Was it violated? No    How? A police officer may stop a person without probable cause for arrest if the officer has an articulable and reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. And if the officer reasonably believes the person may be armed and dangerous he may conduct a protective search. Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968)

 

17.            Joe’s neighbors report that screams are coming from his house. The police arrive to investigate and they also hear screams. When no one answers their knock, they enter the house and find cocaine on the dining room table.

 

Which amendment involved?             Fourth

 

Was it violated? No    How? Warrantless search legal to help victim and drugs “in plain view” Arizona v. Hicks 480 U.S. 321 (1987)

 

 

18.            G.S.P., a seventh grader, left his backpack with a BB gun in it in the locker room after a football game. Janitor found the gun when looking for identification. The next day, the boy was taken from class by a police officer and the assistant principal and was brought to the principal’s office. G.S.P. was interviewed for one hour and told he had to answer the questions. He was not told he could talk his parents or that he could talk to an attorney or that he was free to leave.

 

Which amendment involved?             Fifth

 

Was it violated? Yes    How? A seizure occurs when a reasonable person believes he or she is not free to leave. Arrest occurs when a person is taken into custody and interrogated by police. Anyone in police custody and accused of a crime, no matter how minor, must be given a Miranda warning prior to interrogation by police. Berkemer v. McCarthy, 468 U.S. 420 (1984)

 

19.            The trial court judge, trying to save his friend who was the defendant in a prostitution case from embarrassment, closed the trial to the public.

 

Which amendment involved?             Sixth

 

Was it violated? Yes    How? The Sixth and Fourteenth Amendment right to a public trial and the media’s First Amendment rights were violated because closure was not necessary to guarantee a fair trial. Herring v. New York, 422 U.S. 853 (1975); Richmond Newspapers v. Virginia, 488 U.S. 555 (1980)

 

20.            Sam was arrested and charged with assaulting a convenience store clerk. He had been identified by the hospitalized victim using a photo line-up. He was fingerprinted. He did not yet have a lawyer.

 

Which amendment involved?             Sixth

 

Was it violated? No    How? The accused does not have the right to a lawyer at photo identification procedures. U.S. v. Ash, 413 U.S. 300 (1973)

 

21.            Police arrested JD for burglary. Although JD requested a lawyer, they continued to question him about the burglary, insisting that he was required to answer the questions.

 

Which amendment involved?             Fifth and Sixth

 

Was it violated? Yes    How? If an accused invokes his or her right to counsel, all questioning must cease until he or she is provided an attorney. The Fifth Amendment applies because it was custodial interrogation. Edwards v. Arizona, 451 U.S. 477 (1981)

 

22.            Police were called to the scene of a car bombing. There were injuries but no deaths. Police interviewed many witnesses. Some witnesses refused to talk to the police.

 

Which amendment involved?             Fifth                

 

Was it violated? No    How? Police have the power to interview witnesses; witnesses have the power to refuse to answer questions.

 

23.            Savannah, 17 years old, dropped out of school when she was 16. She had been enrolled in special education classes. Her intelligence test scores have ranged from 63 to70. She was charged with attempted murder of her boyfriend whom she repeatedly stabbed with a screwdriver. She waived her right to a lawyer.

 

Which amendment involved?             Sixth

 

Was it violated? Yes    How? She has the right to a lawyer and her waiver wasn’t voluntary because of her mental condition. Spano v. New York, 300 U.S. 318 (1999)

 

24.            Fowler, age 16, was charged with burglarizing a Post Office. She had never been arrested before, never been in jail, never even been questioned by the police. During police questioning her father kept telling her to “tell the truth or you’ll get in lots more trouble.” When she was advised of her right to a lawyer, she said she didn’t want one.

 

Which amendment involved? Sixth

 

Was it violated? Yes    How? The confession was not voluntary, must look at suspect’s age and manner of interrogation (pressure from father). Also father did not understand the gravity of the situation, indicated a lack of knowledge. United State V. Fowler, 476 F.2d 1001, (1973)

 

25.            The legislature is trying to create a sentence that will stop drunk driving. One senator has a bill that would require persons convicted of a DWI to have DWI added in large orange letters to their driver’s licenses and car license plates.

 

Which amendment involved?             Eighth

 

Was it violated? Yes    How? This penalty is likely disproportionate to the crime. Weems V. U.S. 217 U.S. 349 (1920)

 

26.            A state that uses the death penalty has a new law that says the death penalty can be used on children as young as ten years old.

 

Which amendment involved?             Eighth

 

Was it violated? Yes    How? Although courts have allowed the use of the death penalty on teenagers, the trend is away from this because it is believed that it is cruel and unusual Johnson v. Texas, 509 U.S. 350 (1993).