The Background of Weeks v. United States:
Weeks v. United States was a landmark Supreme Court decision where the courts ruled unanimously that the warrantless seizure of items from a private residence constitutes a direct violation of the United States’ Forth Amendment. Additionally, Weeks v. United States, set forth the exclusionary rule, which prohibits the admission of illegally obtained evidence in the federal court system.
Weeks v. United States Trial:
At its foundation, Weeks v. United States raised the question of what the Fourth Amendment requires; the Supreme Court in Weeks v. United States had to answer whether the Fourth Amendment provides specific protections to private citizens of the United States and whether illegally obtained evidence can be used in a court of law.
Freemont Weeks was suspected of using the United States mail system to distribute chances in a lottery. This act was considered illegal gambling in the state of Missouri. Law enforcement officers of Missouri entered Weeks’ home, searched his room and seized possession of papers and other property belonging to him. Following this procedure, state agents returned to Weeks’ home to collect more evidence; in neither instance, did the law enforcement officers obtain a search warrant to seize Weeks’ possessions.
In Weeks v. United States, the plaintiff argued that because the Fourth Amendment states that people are safe from unlawful searches and seizures, thereby ruling any evidence obtained in violation of such a guarantee cannot be used in the court of law. Solicitor General Davis and Assistant Attorney General Denison presented the case on behalf of the United States and argued that the prosecution of Weeks proceeded in a logical sequence and that the police officers involved in the arrest and subsequent searches acted on an increasing body of evidence which incriminated Weeks in a violation of federal law. The Court; however, upheld the statements by Weeks and ruled in favor of him in Weeks v. United States.
The Case Profile of weeks v. United States
The following is a case profile of the legal trial eponymously titled ‘weeks v. United States’:
Date of the Trial: Weeks v. United States was argued on December 2nd and 3rd of 1913
Legal Classification: Administrative Law; this legal field associated with events and circumstances in which the Federal Government of the United States engages its citizens, including the administration of government programs, the creation of agencies, and the establishment of a legal, regulatory federal standard
United States Reports Case Number: 232 U.S. 383
Date of the Delivery of the Verdict: Weeks v. United States was decided on February 24, 1914
Legal Venue of weeks v. United States: United States Supreme Court
Judicial Officer Responsible for Ruling: Chief Justice Edward D. White
Verdict Delivered: The warrantless seizure of documents or possessions from a private residence violated the Fourth Amendment prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures. All evidence obtained in this manner is excluded from delivery in a federal criminal prosecution.