Wolf v. Colorado

338 U.S. 25, 69 S. Ct. 1359 (1949)

 

RULE:

In a prosecution in a State court for a State crime, the Fourteenth Amendment does not forbid the admission of evidence obtained by an unreasonable search and seizure.

FACTS:

Defendant was convicted of a state offense in a state court that had admitted evidence that would have been inadmissible in a federal prosecution because it was obtained in violation of the U.S. Const. amend. IV. Defendant asserted that the evidence should have been excluded because its seizure was improper and violated due process under the U.S. Const. amend XIV. The Supreme Court of Colorado sustained the conviction. The Court affirmed and determined that the exclusionary rule was not constitutional, but was a remedy fashioned for use by the federal courts. 

ISSUE:

In a prosecution in a state court for a state crime, does the Fourteenth Amendment forbid the admission of evidence obtained by an unreasonable search and seizure?

ANSWER:

No.

CONCLUSION:

A majority of the Supreme Court held that, in a prosecution in a state court for a state crime, the Fourteenth Amendment does not forbid the admission of evidence obtained by an unreasonable search and seizure. The question whether Congress could validly enact legislation permitting the introduction in Federal courts of evidence seized in violation of the Fourth Amendment was left open.

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