United States v. Edwards

PETITIONER:United States
LOCATION:Central Intelligence Agency Headquarters

DOCKET NO.: 73-88
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1972-1975)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

CITATION: 415 US 800 (1974)
ARGUED: Jan 15, 1974
DECIDED: Mar 26, 1974

Edward R. Korman – argued the cause for the United States
Thomas R. Smith – for respondents

Facts of the case


Media for United States v. Edwards

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument – January 15, 1974 in United States v. Edwards

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement – March 26, 1974 in United States v. Edwards

Byron R. White:

73-88, United States against Edwards.

Edwards was arrested for attempting to break into a post office on the night of May 31, 1970.

He was booked and jailed that evening.

The next day, he was given other clothing and the clothing he was wearing at the time of his arrest was taken from him for laboratory examination.

The clothes and the results for the examination were introduced at trial over Edward’s objection that the seizure and the examination violated the Fourth Amendment because it was carried out without warrant.

The Court of Appeals sustained this claim and reversed the conviction.

We in turn reserve the Court of Appeals.

We hold that the police did no more the day after arrest than they could have done at the time of arrest and that in these circumstances no warrant for seizure of the clothing was required.

The judgment of the Court of Appeals is therefore reversed.

Mr. Justice Stewart has filed the dissenting setting opinion in which Justices Douglas, Brennan, and Marshall have joined.

Warren E. Burger:

Thank you Mr. Justice White.