Sunday, December 22, 2013

Franks v. Delaware case brief

Franks v. Delaware case brief summary
438 U.S. 154 (1978)

CASE SYNOPSIS
Petitioner sought review of a decision of the Supreme Court of Delaware, which affirmed petitioner's convictions for rape, kidnapping, and burglary, and held that a criminal defendant did not have the right to challenge the veracity of a sworn statement used by police to procure a search warrant.

CASE FACTS
Petitioner was convicted in state court for rape, kidnapping, and burglary. During petitioner's trial, the state trial court admitted evidence that was obtained pursuant to execution of a search warrant. The police officers' affidavit in support of the search warrant noted the victim's description of her assailant and the police officers' attempt to confirm that petitioner's typical outfit matched that of the assailant.

PROCEDURAL HISTORY
The state supreme court affirmed the trial court's denial of petitioner's motion to suppress evidence and motion for judgment of acquittal or new trial and held that a criminal defendant never had the right to challenge the veracity of a sworn statement used by police to procure a search warrant.

DISCUSSION

  • The Court reversed the state supreme court's judgment. 
  • The Court held that the inclusion of the evidence under the warrant in petitioner's trial was not harmless error and that the Fourth Amendment and the derivative exclusionary rule applicable to the states allowed petitioner, under the circumstances present in his case, to attack the veracity of the warrant's affidavit after the warrant had been issued and executed.

CONCLUSION
The court reversed the state supreme court's holding that a criminal defendant never had the right to challenge the veracity of a sworn statement used by police to procure a search warrant. The court held that the Fourth Amendment, the Fourteenth Amendment, and the derivative exclusionary rule allowed petitioner, under the facts of his case, to attack the veracity of the warrant's affidavit after the warrant had been issued and executed.

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