Case Study Terry v. Ohio 392 U.S.


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Case Study Terry v. Ohio 392 U.S.

This paper is about Terry v. Ohio 392 U.S. 1, 88 S. Ct. 1868, 20 L. Ed. 2d 889 (1968). The petitioner in Terry v. Ohio case sought review of the conviction made to him for carrying and canceling weapons. The petitioner argument is that the weapon he was found with was obtained through a search processes which was illegal under the YS. Const. amend. IV and the court denied this law through suppression.  The court affirmed the conviction of the petitioner through certiorari.

The  court ruling was that despite the law enforcement personal lacking the probable cause at the  stop and frisk time when arresting the petitioner, through not having a warrant to  search the  petitioner for weapons,  the  available  condition still satisfied  the U.S. Const. amend . IV condition.  First the officer was already suspicious of the behavior of Terry John and the other two and based upon the officers experience, he knew that the three were about to commit a robbery during day time. He believed that the petitioner and the other two from their behavior were dangerous armed and were also a thereat to him. The court went on to rule that searching the petitioners outer clothing as well as those of his companions was conducted properly due to the context, scope and time in establishing the weapons presence and to counter the danger they posed (Oyez, 2011).

No question was posed to detective Mc Fadden for seizing Terry and searching him because it was in accordance to the Fourth Amendment.58. Chief Justice Warren identified Terrys interest as an effective way of crime detection and prevention despite him lacking the probable cause. Chief Justin Warren Concludes that “tilt would have been poor police work indeed for an officer of 30 years’ experience in the detection of thievery from stores in this same neighborhood to have failed to investigate this behavior further.”66. This is an interesting move in indication that the officer could not have taken any other step before investigating petitioner’s suspicious behavior” but instead whether there was justification for McFadden’s invasion of Terry’s personal security by searching him for weapons in the course of that investigation (Oyez, 2011).

The Chief Justice ruling totally ignores the cases stop aspect   seen when Terry Katz and Chilton are stopped by McFadden. The case poses the questions, were the suspects free to leave after being stopped? Was the stopping a form of a seizure or trespass to ones personal rights? Theses were the questions not asked in the court.  The court ruling was based on McFadden initial investigation and his frisk (Oyez 2011).

The court ruling was also based on the observation seen by the officer. He saw the suspicious behaviors of the suspects meaning that he was justified to go ahead and inspect them for any weapons. Chief Justice opinion at this point   confronted the claims made by Terry   because he was already a threat to the officer and others for carrying and concealing a weapon. Terrys arguments that the police officer was not supposed to search him because he had no probable cause for his arrest was declined by the Chief Justice.  Justice Warren reasoned out that Terrys argument failed to adheres to the various    character, purposes and the search incident extent to weapon, freak, and arrest.  His claim according to Warren was also not considering the danger and risk he and his friends posed to the police officer. The finale argument Chief Justice makes is that the Court standards for searching is not based on probable cause (Oyez, 2011).


Oyez (2011) Terry v. Ohio. Retrieved from

On February 10, 2011


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