Criminal procedures by law enforcing agent


The on application of correct criminal procedures by law enforcing agent and effects that result from violation of such procedures. Following information on stolen credit cards, Postal offices inspectors went ahead and organized a meeting between the informant (Khoury) and the respondent (Watson). Upon receiving a signal from the informant on availability of the additional credit cards, the officers conducted an unwarranted arrest. After arresting the respondent, as dictated by criminal procedures, the officers read the required Miranda warnings to Watson to avoid invalidation of any evidences they collected. After the Miranda warnings and consent from the Watson, the and conducted a search on the respondent, whereby upon discovering the respondent had credit cards; they extended their search to his vehicle, where they got two more credit cards with identities different from the respondents. Although the respondent filed a motion for omission of the got cards from evidence, the prosecution used them as evidence, hence convicting the respondent with an offense of having stolen packages (Justia U.S. Supreme Court Center, 2010, p.1).

Later on, the appeal court reversed the conviction on grounds that, the officers had violated the respondents rights by conducting an un-warranted arrest and search, hence all the evidence the officers collected was null. Seven courts of appeal judges handled the case namely: Burger, Rehnquist, Stevens, Brennan, White, Blackmun, Powell, and Stewart, and Marshall, and White; White presented the courts final verdict. The cases argument took place on October 8, 1975, whereby later on, on January 26, 1976; the court passed its final verdict.

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Main Issues

The main issues in this case were:

  1. Was Watsons arrest legal or constitutional?
  2. Did the law warrant the search conducted by the officers?


Considering conditions that surrounded the case, the district court validated the arrest because the officers used tips got from a reliable source hence; their actions were within governing statutes and regulations. In addition, it said the arrest was legal because the respondent had granted them the permission to search him and his vehicle. On the other hand, reading of the Miranda warnings proved adherence to criminal procedures, hence the officers never broke any section of the fourth amendment.

The judges of the court of appeal based their decision to reverse the ruling on the following arguments: firstly, Khoury was not a reliable source; hence, the arrest was illegal (unauthorized. C.F. Brown v. Illinois, 422 U.S. 590). This is because the arresting officers had no arrest warrant and sufficient time to acquire one. Secondly, the fourth amendment never granted the prosecution rights of using the cards found in Watsons car as evidence, on grounds that the arresting officers had no consent from Watson to conduct the searches, hence granting him certiorari. 420 U.S. 924 (1975) (FindLaw, 2010, p.1).


The court made its holding on grounds that: firstly, considering the activities that transpired before the officers obtained the cards; the officers had violated Watsons rights. Secondly, because the arrest was un-warranted therefore the searches were illegal, hence reversing the courts verdict.

Concurring Opinions

Judge Rehnquist, Burger, Powell, and Blackmun had concurring opinions, although there were some hitches resulting from use of evidence information collected. They argued that, to some extent the arrest procedure was wrong; the officers conducted the searches upon request.

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