Constitutional Context

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Search and Seizure: Mapp v. Ohio

Video Guide

Stop: 1:30 Pause & Reflect #1
Constitutional Context
1. What right does the Fourth Amendment give us? What protections?
2. Write the full text of the Fourth Amendment from your Class-Prep Assignment.

  • After a principle is established by the Constitution it becomes the law of the land. In practical terms, what is the next challenge for the federal government?

  • Who interprets the Constitution…decides what the law means?

  • Who enforces the laws?

Stop: 4:40 Pause & Reflect #2
Background Story for Mapp v. Ohio
3. Briefly recount Dolly’s story thus far.
4. What did you learn about Dollree Mapp? Respond in 1 or 2 words or phrases.
• Her life situation
• Knowledge
Civic dispositions
5. What did you learn about law enforcement practices in 1957?
6. When the police showed up at Dolly’s door, what did she want to see? Why?

  • What do you think Dolly knew about search warrants?

Stop: 8:11 Pause & Reflect #3
Writs & Warrants
7. Compare and contrast warrants in colonial America with those today.
8. Summarize the argument James Otis made in court.
9. Explain the meaning and significance of these statements by James Otis:
• “A man’s house is his castle.”
• “A man’s right to his home is derived from nature.”
10. Discuss: “In order to have a successful self-governing society individual citizens have to understand that they are in charge.”
How are citizens in charge in a self-governing society?

  • At the time of Mapp, the federal government and the state governments didn’t operate under the same rules when it came to requiring the use of warrants. Why?

Stop: 10:58 Pause & Reflect #4
Warrantless Searches
11. Were federal or state law enforcement officers involved? Why does it matter?
12. What were the police after? What did they find?
13. How did law enforcement use the evidence gathered? Was it legal? Explain.
14. Identify possible Fourth Amendment violations in the investigation.

  • States have the authority to make their own laws. What recourse do individuals have if they believe a law infringes on their personal rights?

Stop: 14:10 Pause & Reflect #5
Exclusionary Rule: Origin & Rationale
15. Restate the exclusionary rule.
16. What is the significance of the decision in Weeks v. United States (1914)?
17. Explain the process and purpose of incorporation. When did the Fourth Amendment get incorporated? Which case? Why wasn’t the exclusionary rule included, too?
18.Justice Frankfurter called the exclusionary rule called a judicial-made remedy. Explain what he meant. Why would the Supreme Court establish such a rule?

  • The stage was set and, in the interest of justice, a new legal precedent was about to be made. What is a precedent?

Stop: 17:28 Pause & Reflect #6
Mapp’s Case in the Supreme Court
19. Recount the trouble that Dolly’s case faced in the Supreme Court.

  • Put yourself in Justice Frankfurter’s shoes. Discuss the unique challenges that you had to face and overcome.

Stop 19:33 Pause & Reflect #7
Reasoning Behind the Mapp Decision
20. Explain the reasoning used for making the exclusionary rule a part of the Constitution when it is not stated in the Constitution.

Consider these words: explicit, implicit, inherent, inferred, exact, specific

Review principles used for interpreting written words.

Stop: 23:07 Pause & Reflect #8
Exclusionary Rule: Exceptions & Controversy
21. How can the Supreme Court require states to use the exclusionary rule when it is not explicitly stated in the Constitution?
22. How did the exclusionary rule affect police practices and individual rights?
23.Give examples of exceptions to the exclusionary rule. Name the cases.
24. Why do you think the number of exceptions to the rule have increased over the years?
25. Identify pro and con viewpoints on the exclusionary rule.
26. Are all search-and-seizure situations involving the government Fourth Amendment violations? Explain and give some examples.

  • In your opinion, are there times when people should voluntarily give up some of their rights? Explain.

The End Pause & Reflect #9
Keeping Us Safe vs. Protecting Our Rights
27. What motivated Dolly and gave her confidence to keep going?
28. In our system of government, who ultimately has the power to tip the scales of justice?
29. Discuss the importance of ordinary people like Dolly Mapp to our justice system.
30. What did you gain from Dolly’s participation? What did America gain?

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