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United States v. Edwards - Significance, Impact

william court burglar petitioner


United States


Eugene H. Edwards, William T. Livesay

Petitioner's Claim

The Fourth Amendment was not violated when, ten hours after a suspected burglar was placed in jail, police officers took the clothes of the suspected burglar without first obtaining a search warrant.

Chief Lawyer for Petitioner

Edward R. Korman

Chief Lawyer for Respondents

Thomas R. Smith

Justices for the Court

Harry A. Blackmun, Warren E. Burger, Lewis F. Powell, Jr., William H. Rehnquist, Byron R. White (writing for the Court)

Justices Dissenting

William J. Brennan, Jr., William O. Douglas, Thurgood Marshall, Potter Stewart


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

26 March 1974


The Fourth Amendment was not violated when, without a search warrant, police officers took the clothes of a suspected burglar ten hours after the suspect had been placed in jail.

Related Cases

  • Boyd v. United States, 116 U.S. 616 (1886).
  • Abel v. United States, 362 U.S. 217 (1960).
  • Cooper v. California, 386 U.S. 58 (1967).
  • Chimel v. California, 395 U.S. 752 (1969).

Further Readings

  • Biskupic, Joan, and Elder Witt, eds. Congressional Quarterly's Guide to the U.S. Supreme Court, 3rd ed. Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly, Inc., 1996.
  • New York Times, March 27, 1974.
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