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The police, acting on a tip that Billy Greenwood was dealing illegal
narcotics, searched some trash bags that he had left on the curb. Actually,
to be more specific, they asked Greenwood’s garbage man to set aside his
thrash from the rest of the neighborhood’s, then searched it after it was
isolated. Finding paraphernalia associated with drugs in the bags, the
police applied for a search warrant, including a description of the things
they found in the trash. Based on evidence from both the garbage and the
search of the house, Greenwood was convicted of drug-related charges.
Greenwood appealed to the Supreme Court, claiming that the search of his
garbage was illegal because it was searched without a warrant.
My side of the case, which is the state of California, tends to argue
three main things. First, the exception to the warrant requirement, which is
"searching abandoned property." We also tend to argue two previous court
cases, Oliver vs. US and Katz vs. United States.
In the case Olive vs. US, Oliver had posted no trespassing signs around
his fenced in farm. Two Kentucky State narcotics officers, also acting on a
tip that Oliver was growing narcotics, walked around the fenced in area to
see a field of home-grown marijuana. This case also dealed with the right of
privacy. The courts decided that the police had the right to charge Oliver
because of plain view. In the second case that we are going to argue, which
is Katz vs. United States, "no knock" statutes were defined. These allow
police to forcibly enter a place when no one will let them in and the police
have a reason to believe that a fugitive is hiding out or evidence is being
destroyed. Our last argument has to do with the exclusionary rule. As
stated before, searching abandoned property can be warrant less. The state
of California will rue that garbage, being accessible to children, animals,
and passerby’s, can be considered abandoned.
The opposing side may argue the precedent of Mapp vs. Ohio is a reason
why Greenwood’s charges should be dropped. The state of California will
argue that the police did NOT force themselves into Greenwood’s house without
a warrant. They had a perfectly legal warrant, which was not attempted to be
hidden or kept from Greenwood.
I believe that if the court sides with the state of California, it will
benefit society in a big way. It will keep Greenwood from dealing any more
narcotics, and also let others know that no matter what they argue, what they
did was still wrong, and will not be excused.
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