Sunday, September 16, 2012

Bumper v. North Carolina case brief

Bumper v. North Carolina
Supreme Court of United States (1968)
FACTS: Bumper; the defendant was a black man who was accused of rape.
-The defendant lived with his grandmother and two days after the alleged crime, four officers came to defendant's house.
-One of the officer told the grandmother that they had a search warrant to search the house and the grandmother said "Go ahead." However, the officers did not have a search warrant.
-The officers found a gun in the house which was later used as evidence and the defendant was sentenced to life in prison.
-The prosecutor, during the appeal, argued that the grandmother had given her consent to the officers and the Supreme Court of North Carolina affirmed the conviction.
ISSUE: Was the consent of grandmother voluntary?


The court stated that after the officers told the grandmother that they had a warrant, the grandmother felt that she had no right to resist the search.
-The court reasoned that this situation was "coercion - albeit colorably lawful coercion." -The court ruled that the grandmother's consent was not voluntary and the weapon was illegally obtained in the house.

CONCLUSION:  The court remanded the case and reversed the ruling of the lower court.

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