Brief OneOlmstead v.
United States 277 US 438, 48 S. Ct. 564, 72 L.Ed. 944Facts: The federal governmentsuspected the defendant of illegally smuggling alcohol during the Prohibitionera. In order to prove Olmstead’s involvement, the government wiretappedOlmstead’s phones and received most of their evidence from the wiretapping.
Thegovernment did not receive a warrant or any kind of approval for thewiretapping.Issue: The issue inthis case is whether the use of evidence from private telephone conversationsbetween the defendants and others, seized by wiretapping, resulted as aviolation of the Fourth and Fifth Amendments.Decision: 5-4 Decision for the United States. Reasoning: The Court decided at a vote of 5-4 that both theFourth and Fifth Amendment rights of the recorded parties were not violated. · Theuse of wiretapped conversations as incriminating evidence doesn’t violate theirFifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination because they were notillegally made to have those conversations. · Olmstead’sFourth Amendment rights were not infringed because a wiretapping alone does notequal a search and seizure under the Fourth Amendment. A search and seizureactually refers to a physical examination of someone’s possessions. Separate Opinions: Justice Brandeis wrote a dissenting opinion that differedfrom the overall decision of the court.
Brandeis believed that it is aninvasion of privacy and that the constitution should defend invasions ofpersonal privacy. Brandeis, along with the three other Justice’s that disagreedwith the ruling, also agreed that it was a violation of Olmstead’s Fourth Amendmentrights.Analysis:This case is very significant when it relates to illegalsearch and seizures as they relate to technology. This court decided that thegovernment did not violate Olmstead’s Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights bywiretapping. One thing to note on this case was that the government neverentered his property to place the wiretap, they wiretapped the phone linesoutside his property. This case was the beginning of a larger conversation thathas been discussed in other cases and laws, from Katz vs.
United States to thePatriot Act. Brief Two132 S. Ct. 945, 565 US 400, 181 L. Ed.
2d 911Facts: Jones wasarrested for drug possession after an illegal tracker was placed on Jones’svehicle by police. No warrant was issued for the tracker. Issue: The issue iswhether placing the tracker is grounds for a violation of the fourth amendment,particularly an illegal search and seizure.Reasoning: The Court decided at a unanimous vote that it is aviolation of the fourth amendment to place a tracker on a vehicle without awarrant.· Thefourth amendment states that people have a right to be secure with theirproperty. A vehicle is their property, which means that it creates an illegalsearch by placing the tracker to check on Jones’s movement.Separate Opinions: While all members of the court agreed in unanimous decision,Justice Alito did have an opinion in difference with Justice Scallia.
JusticeAlito believed that the questions should have been more focused on a violationof a reasonable belief of privacy than illegal search and seizure. JusticeSotomayor also released an opinion that focuses on privacy violation as well.Analysis:This case is also very significant when it relates to illegalsearch and seizures as they relate to technology. The unanimous decisionagainst an illegal search is going to be an imperative decision as ourtechnology advances.
I really like the differing opinion as well by JusticeAlito, and think that this could also be used as a way to discuss privacy aswell. Brief ThreeGideon v. Wainwright 372 US 335, 83 S. Ct. 792, 9 L.
Ed. 2d799Facts: Gideon wascharged with a felony in Florida. He requested a lawyer, but was not given onedue to it not being required by Florida state law.
Florida state law at this pointonly required council during capital cases, not during felony casesIssue: The issue inthis case is whether Gideon has a right to council under the sixth amendmentDecision: Unanimous Decision for the Gideon. Reasoning: The Court decided with a unanimous decision that thesixth amendment promises council as a fundamental right to anyone who needs itin any criminal case. · Floridaonly required council for capital cases previous to this ruling.
Due to the sixthamendment, which guarantees counsel, and the fourteenth amendment, which guaranteesa fair trial for all, Floridians now have a guarantee of council for all criminalcases.Separate Opinions: While there was a unanimous decision in this case, there werea couple notable concurring opinions to this case. Justice Clark believed that theconstitution doesn’t change between non-capital and capital cases, and as such alldefendants should be provided council. Justice Harlan stated that any serious criminalcase should give access to council.Analysis:This case is significant when it relates to criminal defense asa whole. Your simple civilian who does not know about criminal defense will be ata severe disadvantage in a criminal court. Because of the sixth and fourteenth amendment,as well as this case, all criminal defendants will receive equal council.
Especiallyin a time like this, where there are equality issues being discussed, this casewill be imperative.