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Wilson v. Arkansas

United States Supreme Court
514 U.S. 927 (1995)


Facts

Sharlene Wilson (defendant) sold drugs to an informant for the Arkansas State Police in November and December of 1992. Wilson later threatened the informant with a gun. Police secured a warrant to search the home Wilson shared with Bryson Jacobs (defendant), who had convictions for arson and firebombing. Police announced themselves as they entered the unlocked screen door and passed through the open main door to the home. Wilson was in the bathroom flushing drugs down the toilet. Police found drugs, drug paraphernalia, and a gun. Wilson and Jacobs were arrested on various drug charges. Wilson filed a pretrial motion to suppress the evidence found during the search claiming, among other things, that the search violated the Fourth Amendment since police did not “knock and announce” before entering the property. The trial court denied the motion, and Wilson was convicted by a jury and sentenced to 32 years imprisonment. The Arkansas Supreme Court affirmed. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari to determine whether the knock and announce rule is part of the reasonableness test required by the Fourth Amendment.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Thomas, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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