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Fourth Amendment Search and Seizure: The 4th Amendment Rights (Research Paper Sample)


The research Paper will be a 6 page research paper. The research paper should have critical analysis as it relates to this course “Criminal Procedure”. The essay needs to be properly cited. I will need at least 4 different sources. One of the sources must be the textbook (eBook). The paper is to be written in MLA format and double spaced in 12-point font
What I would like to have on this research paper is to could cover the fourth amendment search and seizure and talk about a popular case. Then go into the differences between probable cause and reasonable suspicion and when each factor comes into play within the 4th amendment. Thank you


Institution affiliation:
The 4th Amendment Rights
The 4th amendment promotes the notion that “each man’s home is his castle”, secure from illegal or unreasonable searches and seizures of property by the government. Therefore, the 4th amendment is part of the Bill of Rights that mainly protects the privacy of the US citizens. However, apart from being the basic law regarding search warrants and seizures, it is also central to the application of criminal laws. Nevertheless, probable cause and reasonable suspicion as part of the 4th amendment have been subject to numerous legal arguments due to their dynamic nature. Therefore, this paper seeks to analyze the 4th amendment with regards to a prominent case. However, the paper first seeks to give a brief history of the circumstances that resulted to the enactment of the 4th amendment.
Just like other ancient laws, the 4th amendment has its origin from the English Common law. Its predecessor was the Writ of Assurance, which was grossly misused during the American Revolution due to its limitations. The general search warrant was enough to search and seizure people’s property without even being particular on the part or object to be searched and seized. However, in Entick v. Carrington (1765), the judges legally stated that the search carried out in the name of the king was illegal. Although the King had unlimited authority to search his subjects houses and property, the warrant lacked probable cause and particularity.
Consequently, based on this ruling, the Virginia Declaration of Rights was formulated and became the primary base of the 4th amendment. As a result, Massachusetts became the first US state to enact laws that protected citizens privacy while the fourth amendment took effect on 15th December 1791. However, in Katz v. United States, the Supreme Court redefined “searches” as government actions that violate privacy expectations that the society recognize as reasonable. As a result, the 4th amendment is mainly subjected to government security entities and not private entities.
Prominent case
Weeks v. United States in 1914 is one of the most prominent cases with regards to the 4th amendment. In this case, Kansas City police officers used Mr. Week’s hidden key to enter into his house. They did not have a search or seizure warrant but went ahead and collected letters, papers, and books. Consequently, these materials were used to successfully convict Mr. Weeks in a criminal jury trial in the US District Court for the Western District of Missouri. However, Mr. Weeks asked the US Supreme Court to review the case by posing that if probable cause is not used to get a search warrant, is the resulting warrant-less search and seizure of property a violation of the 4th amendment?
Consequently, the Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the District Court. The Supreme Court indicated that private documents can not be seized and used as evidence against the person who owns them without a valid warrant or show of probable cause. With regard to such matters, Richardson (2012) notes that although police officers should be praised for their efforts to bring the guilty to punishment, they should not be aided by compromising the principles established by the 4th amendment. Hence, any evidence collected during illegal search is in direct violation of the 4th amendment and thus inadmissible at any trial. For a search or seizure to be legal in any criminal investigation, there must be a probable cause which is used to obtain a search warrant.
However, on the other hand, there is the Terry v. Ohio in 1968, which raises the dynamic nature of probable cause and reasonable suspicion. In this case, a Cleveland police detective detained Terry and other ...

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