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Thursday, March 30, 2017

Landmark Cases Study: Terry V Ohio 1968

Landmark Cases Study

Terry V Ohio 1968

  • Briefly explain the circumstances of the case. What happened in this case?
     This case was argued in Warren Court, in Ohio. Three men, including Terry were observed by a plain clothes officer, as they were standing on the corner. The officer in question felt the men were “casing” the place. Two of the men were carrying weapons. Terry was convicted of carrying a concealed weapon and sentenced to three years in jail.
     Arguments for this case started on December 12, 167 and ended on June 10, 1968. The citation was 392 US 1 in 1968.
  • Identify the controversy involved in the case. What was the issue the Supreme Court needed to resolve?
     The issue that needed resolved in the case was the fact that the search and seizure was a violation of the fourth amendment. The Supreme Court Judges needed to resolve their issues and decide if they felt it was in fact a violation of the amendment or not, and if they too felt it went against anyone’s rights.
     It was also the fact that it was/is a simple violation of the fifth amendment as well, because the defendants were also denied their rights of silence, and to say no. Therefore, the Supreme Court also has to decide if they also feel that that right was violated as well.
  • Identify which amendment(s) were involved in this case and explain. (In other words, don't just say, "This was a Fourth Amendment case" or "This was a Fifth Amendment case." Explain why you believe that to be true.)
     As you stated, this was and is a fourth amendment case, because the Criminals, including Terry were standing there, doing nothing. Yes, they were, or could’ve been “casing” the place. Now we will never know will we?! But the officer simply went over and assumed, and ask them to empty their pockets and shown them his identification as an officer of the law.
     Not to mention, as the right to plead the fifth in the said amendment, and to deny the suspect the right of silence, and the right of saying no, in the first place, was also another violation plain and simple.
     Simply because you are an officer of the law, and the way three people look, doesn’t give you the right, to assume, and presume they are in fact guilty. You also are not above the law, as a Policeman or woman, and cannot go above the law and disobey what our forefathers have written. What is law, is law. Standing there look guilty in your eyes, may not look guilty in mine. And you cannot judge a book by its cover. There is no crime in looking guilty, and what have we always said about assuming?
  • Describe the outcome of the case and summarize the Supreme Court's reasoning for its decision.
     The Supreme Court decision was a simple eight to one. The Judges, minus Douglas- felt that the Officer acted on more than a hunch.
     They felt it was not a violation of the fourth amendment, because the Officer could’ve been in danger, especially if he would’ve just went over and just speculated and spoke,
     “Hello. I’m officer so and so. What are you guys doing?”
     If he would’ve not asked for them to produce their weapons, or empty their pockets, and what they were doing, these people, could’ve hurt the Officer in question. So prudent to the Officer’s safety, they ruled in favor of him.
     What would I have ruled?
     I would not have ruled in favor of the Search and seizure law, rule. My husband says he would have. I beg to differ, because I stand, or at least try to stand by my amendments as much as possible. Our forefathers would not have created them if they didn’t think we needed them. Although, the amendments will and should be updated with the times as the times do change, but that does not mean the amendments should be abolished and/or ignored. A law is a law, if we cannot adhere to them, no matter what size they are, than what kind of example are we setting to the future?!
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      How does this case relate to the stop and frisk issue?
     The stop and frisk issue, also referenced as the “Stop and Frisk Law” and the “Terry Law” in New York, because it was implemented to keep the streets safer, ever since 9-11. Because of the terrorist’s attacks on our beautiful country, and mainly focusing on New York, their state has put forth even stronger things to keep themselves safe. Not to mention, that New York does have a high crime rate itself.
     The stop and frisk issue / law, is where the Officers are allowed to question, and stop and frisk people walking down the streets of New York.
     Many tourists travel through New York daily, it is where they get sworn in as legal Americans, it is a tourist attraction, Actors and Actresses go there often. And now it is a big place for the terrorists to decide to attack, because of everything we have there, and how badly it can hurt the USA. So, yes, New York has implemented many things to protect themselves, and us.
     The stop and frisk issue / law, is exactly like the Terry case, that is why they reference it as such. It allows the Police to stop people on the streets and frisk them, and check out what they are carrying, and up to. Safety is the goal here.
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      Briefly describe how a sixteen-year-old juvenile who was stopped, frisked, and arrested would be handled by the police and court as his or her case is processed. Pay particular attention to the "language" of the system.
     Dashielle was stopped and frisked, and of course arrested because she carrying a bag of what she thought was weed. The officer arresting her, (Donna) wanted to teach her a lesson, thinking she would teach Dash a lesson, because obviously this was her first time, and maybe she could lead the Department to someone else, someone who is also distributing “Oregano” as pot. Dash, plead the fifth, and shook like a leaf, and even cried. Donna, was not very mean and  forceful, she was literally trying to teach her version of “the scared straight program.” Dash was co-operative, all except for the talking part. She had been standing there on the side of the road, but because of what she had in her possession, she wasn’t sure where to go with it. So she was busy in thought, when Donna had seen her standing there. Dash didn’t realize she had been standing there for thirty minutes, perfectly still, which is what made Donna curious.
     Donna didn’t really think much of it at first, but when she went over to Dashielle, she started shaking like a leaf, in fear. So Donna instantly jumped into cop mode, and ask her to empty her pockets. Dash held out her alleged pot and said “Here take it! I don’t want it anyway!” And that was it. Donna knew she had a kid who was experimenting.
     The Judge read the case notes, and spoke with Donna, and understood everything that was going on. Together they worked out what they hoped would help, agreeing to never inform Dashielle that that she had bought oregano. They didn’t want to make her feel any worse than she already did. But they did want to get her help. They were also quite curious what might have led Dash to want to try drugs.
     During the sentencing, Dash stood at the podium, the Officer beside her, and the Judge ask if there was a parent here for her. Donna scanned the room. Dash lowered her head and mumbled, “Please God not today…”
     The room stirred, and there was all kind of noise. Than a man joined  beside Dash and said, “I’m here.”
     Suddenly Donna smelt the odor of alcohol and sewer and filth and almost wretched. The bailiff sniffed and then slightly gagged out loud. The Judges face wrinkled as if curious, and then she sniffed. “Oh my heavens! Sir, is that smell you?!” She stated in a question format.
     “Yes ma’am. I apologize. I just got off work. I came straight here. There was a message on my machine last night. I work night—“ He was saying.
     “Do stop so that we can get this over with then!” The Judge interrupted. “Before we all throw up.” She was holding a kerchief over her nose. “Are you the parent of Dashielle Elaine Thomas?”
     “Yes.” He stated.
     “State your name for the record.” The Judge stated.
     “Enron Kent Thomas the Third.”
     “Ok Enron are you aware that you daughter has bought weed or is doing pot? Or that anything about her has changed recently?” The Judge asked.
     Enron looked at Dashielle. The cop looked at them both, and the Judge watched everyone. Looks can tell all kinds of stories.
     “No I wasn’t. Her grades aren’t dropping or anything. Your honor, she is an honor student. She doesn’t miss any School or anything.” Enron said.
     The Judge nods. “Is there a Mrs. Thomas, Sir?” she asks.
     “No ma’am. She left us a few Months back for another man. Not something you hear everyday….” Enron lowers his head.
     The Judge shakes her head in disbelief. “Ok….Miss Thomas, since this is your first offense, and you have somewhat been co-operative with the Police…providing you can lead Officer Williams here to your dealer…or….a dealer… longer pleading the fifth…..than I believe we can work together. Can you do this?”
     Dash licked her lips….”Yes ma’am I believe I can….”
     “I am going to put you on probation. But I don’t ever want to see you in my Court room again, is that clear?! I want you to promise me that too, can you do that?!”
     “Yes ma’am. Thank you ma’am.” Dash said.
     “Very good Miss Thomas. Do you agree with my ruling than Officer Williams?” The Judge asked.
     “Yes, thank you Judge V.” Officer Williams said.

     In this case, Dash, revealed to Officer Donna who dealt her the Oregano-drugs. But here in the long run, the dealer was not a drug dealer, it was also someone trying to keep her drug free, knowing she was not meant to do them. She had mentioned to her friend that she was depressed and upset with her Mother leaving, and well, she felt drugs were the answer. She had seen and heard others speaking and doing it. She thought it would solve her problems.
     With said case, Dashielle was dazed off and had been standing on the street too long, trying to figure out the best place to secretly get high. The officer in question became curious. When she went to the kid, she had no intent on asking her to “see” what she had, but when the girl starting showing signs of fear, she then did so because of the girls actions.
     Also to the advantage of this case, the only things the girl remembered was her fifth amendment rights. Because of her age, and not paying attention in School, she didn’t remember her fourth amendment rights. Had she been in New York, she would not have had them.
     Lucky for Dash, she had a descent officer though, and all turned out best in the long run. She was put into the “Scared straight” program whereas you get a tour of the jail, and court room, and court fines, and put on probation. The Probation Officer can and usually deems community service too.

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