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Lesson 33


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  • 1. Lesson 33 Danny S, Lauren B, Linnea H, Curtis B, James D
  • 2. What is the purpose of the Fourth Amendment?
    • Originally limited only the powers of the federal government, it has been applied to state and local government by its incorporation into the 4 th Amendment
    • 4 th Amendment does not specifically state that it protects the right to privacy.
    • The 4 th Amendment prohibits law enforcement officers from searching or seizing people or their property unless there is probable cause – a good reason for suspecting a person of breaking a law.
  • 3. What is the purpose of the Fourth Amendment? (cont.)
    • If a judge a judge or magistrate agrees there is probable cause to suspect a violation of law, the law enforcement officers is given a warrant – a written document giving permission for a search and seizure.
    • The 4 th Amendment has been interpreted to allow search and seizures without a warrant under certain circumstances.
    • Warrants must specifically describe the place and person or thing to be searched and seized.
  • 4. What is the history of the Fourth Amendment?
    • English common law protected the right to privacy by prohibiting judges from giving law enforcement officials general warrant – that did not describe in detail the places and the person or thing to be searched or seized.
    • General Warrants have been referred to as open-ended “hunting licenses” authorizing government officials to search people, their businesses , homes, and property indiscriminately.
  • 5. What is the history of the Fourth Amendment?
    • In 1662 Parliament passed a law that permitted general warrants called writs of assistance.
      • the writs gave government officials the power to search for goods that had entered the country in violation
    • Today every constitution contains a clause similar to the 4 th Amendment
  • 6. What is the significance of the exclusionary rule?
    • Most often used to exclude evidence attained from illegal searches and seizures.
    • Excludes evidence gathered in violation of the 5 th amendment and 6 th amendment.
    • Created to discourage law enforcement officers from breaking the law.
    • In 1961, Supreme court applied it to prosecutions at the state level in the case, Mapp v. Ohio.
  • 7. What is the purpose of the Fifth Amendment provision against self-incrimination?
    • The right against self-incrimination is a protection of both the innocent and the guilty alike from the potential abuse of Government power.
    • The 5 th amendments primary purpose is to prohibit the government from threatening, mistreating ,or even torturing people to gain evidence against them or their associates.
    • The most common provision is refusing to testify by “taking the fifth.”
    • The clause of the fifth amendment protects persons accused of crimes, and witnesses from being forced to incriminate themselves.
  • 8. Critical Thinking Exercise
    • Compare the 1791 case and the 1991 case and discuss the following questions…
    • 1. In what ways are the two cases similar or dissimilar?
    • 2. What values and interests are involved in each case?
    • 3. Under what conditions, if any, should the right against self-incrimination be applied and limited? Explain.