United States v. Peltier

PETITIONER: United States
RESPONDENT: Peltier
LOCATION: Interstate Highway 5, approximately 4 miles south of San Clemente

DOCKET NO.: 73-2000
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1972-1975)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

CITATION: 422 US 531 (1975)
ARGUED: Feb 18, 1975
DECIDED: Jun 25, 1975

ADVOCATES:
Sandor W. Shapery - for respondent
William L. Patton, Jr. - for petitioner

Facts of the case

Question

Media for United States v. Peltier

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - February 18, 1975 in United States v. Peltier

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - June 25, 1975 in United States v. Peltier

Warren E. Burger:

The judgment and opinion of the Court in No. 73-2000, United States against Peltier will be announced by Mr. Justice Rehnquist.

William H. Rehnquist:

The respondent in this case was convicted of the possession of marihuana which was seized by Border Patrol agents during a search of his car 70 miles from the Mexican border.

The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed the conviction on the grounds that this Court's decision in Almeida-Sanchez against United States two terms ago, which issued four months after the search of the respondent's car should be applied to suppress the 270 pounds of marihuana found by Border Patrol agents.

We granted the Government's petition for certiorari because of a conflict between the Fifth and Ninth Circuits on this issue.

The Government did not contest the finding that the search was illegal, but contended that the purposes underlying the exclusionary rule would not be furthered by the suppression of the evidence in this case.

We find this argument persuasive.

Searches of the variety involved in this case were authorized by statute and regulation and were continuously approved by Circuit Courts until this Court's decision in Almeida-Sanchez.

The deterrence objectives of the exclusionary rule would not be furthered by suppression of the evidence involved in this case nor were the imperatives of judicial integrity offended by the use of this evidence in respondent's trial.

We therefore, reversed the judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Mr. Justice Douglas has filed a dissenting opinion.

Mr. Justice Brennan joined by Mr. Justice Marshall and by Mr. Justice Stewart in Part I of that opinion has also filed a dissenting opinion.

Warren E. Burger:

Thank you Mr. Justice Rehnquist.