Mapp v. Ohio (1961)
Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures
Decision Date: June 19, 1961
Background: The case originated in Cleveland, Ohio, when police officers forced their way into Dollree Mapp's house without a proper search warrant. Police believed that Mapp was harboring a suspected bomber, and demanded entry. No suspect was found, but police discovered a trunk of obscene pictures in Mapp's basement. Mapp was arrested for possessing the pictures, and was convicted in an Ohio court. Mapp argued that her Fourth Amendment rights had been violated by the search, and eventually took her appeal to United States Supreme Court. At the time of the case unlawfully seized evidence was banned from federal courts but not state courts.
Decision: The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a 5-3 vote in favor of Mapp. The high court said evidence seized unlawfully, without a search warrant, could not be used in criminal prosecutions in state courts.