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Warden v. Hayden

United States Supreme Court
387 U.S. 294 (1967)



Police received a call that an armed robbery had just occurred. The caller gave a description of the suspect and informed the police that the robber had just entered a private residence. When the police arrived at the home, they knocked at the door, and Bennie Hayden’s (defendant’s) wife answered. She let the police in to search the house. The police found Hayden upstairs and arrested him. During the course of their search, the police also found a gun and ammunition. They also found clothing in a washing machine that was consistent with the description given of the robber. All of this evidence was introduced at trial, and Hayden was convicted. Unable to secure relief from state courts, Hayden petitioned the federal district court for habeas corpus, which was denied. The court of appeals reversed, holding that the search was lawful, but that the clothing should not have been admitted because it had “evidential value only” and could not be validly seized. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Brennan, J.)

Concurrence (Fortas, J.)

Dissent (Douglas, J.)

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