Coolidge v. New Hampshire
United States Supreme Court
403 U.S. 443 (1971)
Pamela Mason was
murdered. Police questioned Edward Coolidge (defendant). Coolidge was
cooperative. While Coolidge was taking a lie-detector test, police arrived at
his home, questioned his wife, and obtained evidence from her. Police presented
the evidence to the state attorney general, who was in charge of the
prosecution. Police applied to the attorney general for arrest and search
warrants, including a warrant to search Coolidge’s Pontiac. The attorney general,
in his capacity as a justice of the peace, granted the warrant. Police arrested
Coolidge. Police told Coolidge’s wife to leave, placed the house under guard,
and had the Coolidges’ cars towed to the station. Microscopic evidence gathered
from the Pontiac was presented against Coolidge at trial, over his motions to suppress,
and a jury convicted him. The state supreme court affirmed, and Coolidge petitioned
the United States Supreme Court for certiorari, contending the warrantless
search of the Pontiac was unconstitutional.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Stewart, J.)
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