Warden v. Hayden

PETITIONER:Warden, Maryland Penitentiary
RESPONDENT:Bennie Joe Hayden
LOCATION:Hayden Residence

DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1965-1967)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

CITATION: 387 US 294 (1967)
ARGUED: Apr 12, 1967
DECIDED: May 29, 1967
GRANTED: Nov 07, 1966

Albert R. Turnbull – for the respondent
Franklin Goldstein – for the petitioner
Ralph S. Spritzer – for the United States as amicus curiae urging reversal

Facts of the case

Around 8 a.m. on March 17, 1962, an armed robber took $363 from the premises of the Diamond Cab Company in Baltimore, Maryland and fled on foot. Two cab drivers were attracted by the yelling and followed the suspect onto Cocoa Lane. One of the cab drivers radioed the company dispatcher a description of the suspect including clothes, which the dispatcher passed on to the police. When the police arrived at the Hayden residence, Mrs. Hayden allowed them to search the house without a warrant. The police found Bennie Joe Hayden in an upstairs bedroom and no one else in the house. They also found a set of clothes matching the description given by the cab driver in the washing machine, as well as a shotgun and a pistol in a flush tank. Ammunition for both weapons was discovered in Hayden’s room.

Hayden was charged with armed robbery and tried in front of a court sitting without a jury. The clothing and the weapons were admitted into evidence at trial without objection, and Hayden was convicted. Hayden sought habeas corpus relief in district court, which was denied. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit reversed the denial of habeas corpus and held that the search was valid but that the clothing had “evidential value only” and was improperly admitted into evidence at trial.


Does the Fourth Amendment create a distinction between merely evidentiary materials, which may not be seized during the course of a search, and the instrumentalities or fruits of the crime, which may be seized?