What is the procedural history in the Mapp v. Ohio case?

Asked on by bertyfitz

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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A basic procedural history for a court case follows that case as it goes through certain steps in the judicial process.  In such a history, a person writing a brief must generally list the various steps that the case went through before its final disposition.  In the case of Mapp v. Ohio, there were four steps that need to be included in the procedural history section of a brief.

First, there was the initial criminal case.  This was tried in the Common Pleas Court for Cuyahoga County, Ohio in 1958.  Mapp was convicted in that court of possessing obscene materials.  Mapp then appealed her conviction.  This was done in the Ohio Court of Appeals (not a federal court of appeals) for the Eighth Judicial Circuit.  This court upheld Mapp’s conviction in 1959.  The next step was an appeal to the Supreme Court of Ohio.  This was the court of last resort at the state level.  This court, too, upheld Mapp’s conviction in 1960.  Therefore, the only possible further appeal was to the Supreme Court of the United States.  This appeal was decided in 1961. 

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jameadows | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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In Mapp v. Ohio (1961), the Supreme Court ruled that evidence obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment's protection against unreasonable search and seizure cannot be admitted to state courts. The 6-3 Supreme Court decision applied the so-called "exclusionary rule" to state courts. 

The history of the case is that in May of 1957, Dollree Mapp was suspected of harboring a suspect in a bombing. The police in Cleveland, Ohio, where she lived, demanded entrance into her house, but she refused, as they did not have a warrant. They later showed her a piece of paper that they claimed was a warrant, entered her house, and found pornographic material. They arrested Mapp on the charge of holding pornographic material. The police did not produce the search warrant during the trial, but the court found her guilty and sentenced her to 1-7 years in prison. Her first case was heard in the Cuyahoga County, Ohio Court of Common Pleas in 1958. She later appealed to the Ohio Supreme Court, and, in 1960, the Ohio Supreme Court upheld the original decision. She then appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. The case was argued on March 29, 1961 and decided on June 19, 1961. 

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