The Fourth Amendment : Historical Conception, Key Elements, Legalities, And Violations

1221 WordsApr 17, 20175 Pages
Abstract The Fourth Amendment has two basic premises. One focuses on the reasonableness of a search and seizure, and the other on warrants. One view is that the two are distinct, while another view is that the second helps explain the first. However, which interpretation is correct is unclear. In addition, law enforcement today differs sharply from the period in which the Constitution 's framers lived. During that period, no organized police forces existed that were even remotely like those of today. In contrast, today 's law enforcement officials seem to have broad authority to search and seize. These powers are not generally subject to either statutory or regulatory control, and common law limitations are generally ill defined and…show more content…
The English citizenry faced an unprecedented rise in searches and seizures using general warrants (Search and Seizure- The Fourth Amendment: Origins, Text, And History, 2014). The court cases for Wilkes v. Wood and Entick v. Carrington were tried in England. Charles Pratt, and 1st Earl Camden came to the lawful conclusion that a search carried out by the defendant in the name of the king was prohibited. The general warrant authorized the seizure of the Plaintiff 's papers but not specific ones, and that the warrant lacked probable cause. This case became the precedent upon which all other criminal and civil cases under common law are determined (Search and Seizure- The Fourth Amendment: Origins, Text, And History, 2014). The third case that was tried dealt with Writs of Assistance. British customs inspectors seeking to eliminate smuggling in colonial Boston were given unrestricted search warrants, called writs of assistance. This allowed them to search any place where they suspected that smuggled goods existed. These writs, furthermore, permitted inspectors to force private citizens to help them carry out the searches. Some Boston merchants, represented by James Otis, sued, seeking that the writs were invalid. Although he merchants lost the case, Otis 's argument became famous and strengthened

More about The Fourth Amendment : Historical Conception, Key Elements, Legalities, And Violations

Open Document