Mapp v. Ohio

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This case began when seven police officers broke into the Cleveland home of Dollree Mapp, supposedly to look for a bombing suspect and gambling paraphernalia. Although they found neither, they did find some books and photos that they deemed to be obscene. Mapp was convicted of possession of obscene literature and sent to prison.

The Court overturned Mapps conviction, finding that the search of her home violated the Fourth Amendment protection from unreasonable searches and seizures. The Court applied the exclusionary rule (which provides that otherwise admissible evidence cannot be used in a criminal trial if it was the result of illegal police conduct) and said that the evidence used to convict Mapp should not have been allowed. Prior to this case, the Court had not applied the exclusionary rule to the states. This case was the beginning of an era in which the Supreme Court (under Chief Justice Earl Warren) overhauled criminal procedure.


 Mapp v. Ohio


367 U.S. 643 (1961)


All evidence obtained by searches and seizures in violation of the Federal Constitution is inadmissible in a criminal trial in a state court. Wolf v. Colorado, 338 U. S. 25, overruled insofar as it holds to the contrary. Pp. 367 U. S. 643-660.

170 Ohio St. 427, 166 N.E.2d 387, reversed.

To read the rest of the opinion in Mapp v. Ohio, go to Nolos US Supreme Court Center.

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