Terry v. Ohio, also known as the "Stop and Frisk" case, was a landmark Supreme Court decision issued in 1968. The case involved a Cleveland police officer named Martin McFadden who stopped and frisked John W. Terry and two other men on the street. Terry and the other men were not engaged in any criminal activity at the time, but Officer McFadden suspected them of planning to rob a store based on their behavior. He searched their outer clothing and found a gun on Terry.
Terry was subsequently arrested and charged with carrying a concealed weapon. He appealed the charges on the grounds that the search and seizure were unconstitutional under the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable searches and seizures. The case eventually made its way to the Supreme Court, where it was argued in front of Chief Justice Earl Warren and eight other justices.
In a unanimous decision, the Court ruled in favor of Terry, finding that the search and seizure were indeed unconstitutional. The Court held that the Fourth Amendment requires law enforcement officers to have a reasonable suspicion that a person is engaged in criminal activity before stopping and frisking them. This standard, known as "reasonable suspicion," is a lower threshold than the "probable cause" required for a full arrest.
The Court also established a new standard for determining the constitutionality of searches and seizures: the "balancing test." Under this test, the Court weighs the government's interest in effective law enforcement against the individual's interest in privacy and freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures.
The Terry decision had a significant impact on law enforcement practices in the United States. It allowed officers to conduct limited searches and seizures without probable cause, as long as they had a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. This became known as the "Terry stop" and is still widely used by law enforcement today.
However, the Terry decision has also been criticized for giving law enforcement officers too much discretion in determining what constitutes reasonable suspicion. Some critics argue that the decision has led to racial profiling and other abuses of power by law enforcement. The case remains controversial to this day and continues to shape the way law enforcement interacts with the public.
TERRY v. OHIO
This sort of police conduct may, for example, be designed simply to help an intoxicated person find his way home, with no intention of arresting him unless he becomes obstreperous. The legal question presented to the court was the possibility of recognizing the recording of the telephone conversation as an unjustified action. Police control took the place of judicial control, since no showing of 'probable cause' before a magistrate was required. In both cases, the Supreme Court established a new basis for striking a balance between the need to fight crime and civil rights and freedoms. In the Terry v. Encounters are initiated by the police for a wide variety of purposes, some of which are wholly unrelated to a desire to prosecute for crime. Moreover, hostile confrontations are not all of a piece.
Marcus and Brenda Soloff, Assistant Attorneys General, for the Attorney General of New York; by Charles Moylan, Jr. This man then left the two others and walked west on Euclid Avenue. Rather, he says it is unreasonable for the policeman to take that step until such time as the situation evolves to a point where there is probable cause to make an arrest. CHIEF JUSTICE WARREN delivered the opinion of the Court. Perhaps such a step is desirable to cope with modern forms of lawlessness. Also in 1966, there were 23,851 assaults on police officers, 9,113 of which resulted in injuries to the policeman.
Terry v. Ohio: Supreme Court Case, Arguments, Impact
It seeks to isolate from constitutional scrutiny the initial stages of the contact between the policeman and the citizen. He was not acquainted with any of the three men by name or by sight, and he had received no information concerning them from any other source. Fifty-five of the 57 officers killed in 1966 died from gunshot wounds, 41 of them inflicted by handguns easily secreted about the person. For, as this Court has always recognized, "No right is held more sacred, or is more carefully guarded, by the common law, than the right of every individual to the possession and control of his own person, free from all restraint or interference of others, unless by clear and unquestionable authority of law. This paper aims to analyze the cases of Katz v. An arrest is a wholly different kind of intrusion upon individual freedom from a limited search for weapons, and the interests each is designed to serve are likewise quite different. These encounters, now called ''Terry stops,'' are used for the safety of law enforcement and are used throughout the United States to detect, prevent, and deter criminal activity.
Terry v. Ohio :: 392 U.S. 1 (1968) :: Justia US Supreme Court Center
United States, 361 U. Paul: West Academic Publishing. They also found a collection of pornography, which Mapp stated belonged to a previous tenant. Judge Harlan defined the criterion subsequently used by the courts to establish a violation or non-violation of the Fourth Amendment. Supreme Court Terry v. The United States Supreme Court Terry v. While I unreservedly agree with the Court's ultimate holding in this case, I am constrained to fill in a few gaps, as I see them, in its opinion.
Justia makes no guarantees or warranties that the annotations are accurate or reflect the current state of law, and no annotation is intended to be, nor should it be construed as, legal advice. Because many situations which confront officers in the course of executing their duties are more or less ambiguous, room must be allowed for some mistakes on their part. American criminals have a long tradition of armed violence, and every year in this country many law enforcement officers are killed in the line of duty, and thousands more are wounded. Please check official sources. It is intended to vindicate society's interest in having its laws obeyed, and it is inevitably accompanied by future interference with the individual's freedom of movement, whether or not trial or conviction ultimately follows. The Ohio Supreme Court refused to hear Terry's appeal because in the Court's opinion there was no important constitutional question. Terry, 5 Ohio App.
We affirm the conviction. They were represented by the same attorney, and they made a joint motion to suppress the guns. The officer ordered the three into the store. We do not retreat from our holdings that the police must, whenever practicable, obtain advance judicial approval of searches and seizures through the warrant procedure, see, e. Ohio as the Fourth Amendment highlight cases. As we stated in Henry v.
An arrest is the initial stage of a criminal prosecution. The issue in this case is not the abstract propriety of the police conduct but the admissibility against petitioner of the evidence uncovered by the search and seizure. Lefkowitz, pro se, Samuel A. Payne argued the cause for respondent. Officer McFadden's right to interrupt Terry's freedom of movement and invade his privacy arose only because circumstances warranted forcing an encounter with Terry in an effort to prevent or investigate a crime. Only when the officer, by means of physical force or show of authority, has in some way restrained the liberty of a citizen may we conclude that a "seizure" has occurred. The general warrant, in which the name of the person to be arrested was left blank, and the writs of assistance, against which James Otis inveighed, both perpetuated the oppressive practice of allowing the police to arrest and search on suspicion.
Stokes appealed the case to the Ohio Eighth District Court of Appeals and to the U. The Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable searches and seizures, made applicable to the States by the Fourteenth Amendment, "protects people, not places," and therefore applies as much to the citizen on the streets as well as at home or elsewhere. Officer McFadden had never seen them in the neighborhood before. Our evaluation of the proper balance that has to be struck in this type of case leads us to conclude that there must be a narrowly drawn authority to permit a reasonable search for weapons for the protection of the police officer, where he has reason to believe that he is dealing with an armed and dangerous individual, regardless of whether he has probable cause to arrest the individual for a crime. United States, 338 U. He testified that after observing their elaborately casual and oft-repeated reconnaissance of the store window on Huron Road, he suspected the two men of 'casing a job, a stick-up,' and that he considered it his duty as a police officer to investigate further. United States, 389 U.
The court distinguished between an investigatory "stop" and an arrest, and between a "frisk" of the outer clothing for weapons and a full-blown search for evidence of crime. We have said precisely the opposite over and over again. Even a limited search of the outer clothing for weapons constitutes a severe, Petitioner does not argue that a police officer should refrain from making any investigation of suspicious circumstances until such time as he has probable cause to make an arrest; nor does he deny that police officers in properly discharging their investigative function may find themselves confronting persons who might well be armed and dangerous. Supreme Court in which the Court ruled that the exclusionary rule, which prevents prosecutors from using evidence in court that was obtained by violating the Fourth Amendment to the U. And by suggesting a rigid all-or-nothing model of justification and regulation under the Amendment, it obscures the utility of limitations upon the scope, as well as the initiation, of police action as a means of constitutional regulation.