Criminal Law Cases
Gideon v. Wainwright 372 U.S. 335 (1963) (W|L)
- The petitioner brought habeas corpus proceedings against the Director
of the Division of Corrections. The Florida Supreme Court, 135 So.2d
746, denied all relief, and the petitioner brought certiorari. The
United States Supreme Court, Mr. Justice Black, held that the Sixth
Amendment to the federal Constitution providing that in all criminal
prosecutions the accused shall enjoy right to assistance of counsel for
his defense is made obligatory on the states by the Fourteenth
Amendment, and that an indigent defendant in a criminal prosecution in a
state court has the right to have counsel appointed for him.
Mapp v. Ohio 367 U.S. 643 (1961) (W|L)
- Prosecution for possession and control of obscene material. An Ohio
Common Pleas Court rendered judgment, and the defendant appealed. The
Ohio Supreme Court, 170 Ohio St. 427, 166 N.E.2d 387, affirmed the
judgment, and the defendant again appealed. The Supreme Court, Mr.
Justice Clark, held that evidence obtained by unconstitutional search
was inadmissible and vitiated conviction.
Katz v. United States 389 U.S. 347 (1967) (W|L)
- Defendant was convicted in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of California, Central Division, Jesse W. Curtis, J.,
of a violation of statute proscribing interstate transmission by wire
communication of bets or wagers, and he appealed. The Court of Appeals,
369 F.2d 130, affirmed, and certiorari was granted. The Supreme Court,
Mr. Justice Stewart, held that government's activities in electronically
listening to and recording defendant's words spoken into telephone
receiver in public telephone booth violated the privacy upon which
defendant justifiably relied while using the telephone booth and thus
constituted a ‘search and seizure’ within Fourth Amendment, and fact
that electronic device employed to achieve that end did not happen to
penetrate the wall of the booth could have no constitutional
significance. The Court further held that the search and seizure,
without prior judicial sanction and attendant safeguards, did not comply
with constitutional standards, although, accepting account of
government's actions as accurate, magistrate could constitutionally have
authorized with appropriate safeguards the very limited search and
seizure that government asserted in fact took place and although it was
apparent that agents had acted with restraint.
Miranda v. Arizona 384 U.S. 436 (1966) (W|L)
- The Supreme Court, Mr. Chief Justice Warren, held that statements
obtained from defendants during incommunicado interrogation in
police-dominated atmosphere, without full warning of constitutional
rights, were inadmissible as having been obtained in violation of Fifth
Amendment privilege against self-incrimination.
Furman v. Georgia 408 U.S. 238 (1972) (W|L)
- The Supreme Court held that imposition and carrying out of death
penalty in cases before court would constitute cruel and unusual
punishment in violation of Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments.
Heafey Law Library Research Team