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Wolf v. People of the State of Colorado

Significance

The decision in Wolf v. People of the State of Colorado advised that states should exclude evidence from trial if it was illegally obtained, but left the ultimate decision for such exclusion in the hands of the state.

Wolf was convicted of conspiracy to commit abortion in Colorado. He challenged this conviction on the ground that the seizure and use of the evidence against him violated his constitutional rights. The Supreme Court of Colorado affirmed the conviction.

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the case to decide if the Fourth Amendment guarantee against unreasonable search and seizure was incorporated by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and thus applied both to the states and the federal government. The Court also looked at whether the exclusionary rule, which prohibited the use of unlawfully gathered evidence by the federal government, also applied to the states.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1941 to 1953Wolf v. People of the State of Colorado - Significance, Due Process Represents A Living Principle, Only Exclusion Will Deter Violations, Impact