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Defending Justice Douglas' Dissent of Terry V Ohio

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Defending Justice Douglas’s Dissent of Terry v. Ohio

Defending Justice Douglas’s Dissent of Terry v. Ohio
Terry v. Ohio is a landmark supreme court case that started on October 31st, 1963, in Cleveland, Ohio, when police officer Martin McFadden observed three men engaging in suspicious behavior. At first, two men, John W. Terry and Richard Chilton, were taking turns pacing up and down Euclid Avenue, stopping to peer into a storefront, then congregating at the street corner. Later, a third party (Katz), met the two at the corner then left abruptly after brief conversation. Officer McFadden then confronted the three men, searched their outer garments under the suspicion of criminal intent, and found a pistol on Terry and another on Chilton. Terry’s defense argued the gun found on Terry was inadmissible in court as evidence, stating that his 4th Amendment right to protection from unreasonable search and seizures was violated. The court denied the defendants' motion on the ground that Officer McFadden, on the basis of his experience, "had reasonable cause to believe . . . that the defendants were conducting themselves suspiciously, and some interrogation should be made of their action." Purely for his own protection, the court held, the officer had the right to pat down the outer clothing of these men, who he had reasonable cause to believe might be armed. The Supreme Court of Ohio dismissed their appeal on the ground that no “substantial constitutional question” was involved (Kemp, David. (2012). Terry v. Ohio 392 U.S. 1 (1968).

U.S. Supreme Court Justice William Douglas strongly disagreed with permitting a stop and search without probable cause, stating “I agree that petitioner was "seized" within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment. I also agree that frisking petitioner and his companions for guns was a "search." But it is a mystery how that "search" and that…...

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