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Searches and Seizures' Affects on the Fourth Amendment - Terry vs. Ohio

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In Terry v Ohio (1962),the U.S. Supreme Court, for the first time, approved a search and seizure based on less than probable cause. Read the majority opinion. In 2-3 pages, answer the following questions or respond to the following statements: Are you satisfied with the majority's dismissal of the arguments against allowing the police to do this (e.g., increasing tension with minority communities)? Read Justice Douglas's dissent. Numerous searches and seizures based on less than probable cause, and even suspicionless searches and seizures, have been approved since (and based in part on) Terry and its progeny. Was allowing searches and seizures on less than probable cause a serious blow to Fourth Amendment freedoms? Should the majority have adopted Douglas's position? Why would the liberal Warren Court grant the police so many powers and create a precedent dangerous to Fourth Amendment freedoms?

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Solution Summary

The affects of searches and seizures' on the Fourth Amendment are determined.

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Are you satisfied with the majority's dismissal of the arguments against allowing the police to do this (e.g., increasing tension with minority communities)?

I am not satisfied with the explanation for why these officers were allowed to arbitrarily skirt the protections afforded to American citizens under the Fourth Amendment. This amendment is predicated upon ensuring that American citizens are able to be secure in the knowledge that they will not be subjected to unreasonable searches and seizures without sufficient probable cause for these searches and seizures. The justification for allowing such a search was predicated in balancing the interests of law enforcement against those of personal citizens wherein the officer witnessed suspicious behavior that in accordance with his 39 years on the police force was akin to the casing of a store for a robbery.

Therefore, the Court surmised that it would be imprudent for the officer to ignore this potential threat to the public despite having no other evidence to corroborate his "hunch". Therefore, the Court ruled that the ...

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