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United States v. White

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Bloomberg Law

Citation. 401 U.S. 745, 91 S. Ct. 1122, 28 L. Ed. 2d 453 (1971)

Brief Fact Summary. Government authorities, through the use of an informant, secretly recorded conversations with the Respondent, James A. White (the “Respondent”). The informant was not present during the trial, but the recorded conversations were admitted.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. The secret simultaneous (electronic) recording of conversations between an individual and government agents, without a warrant, does not violate the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution (”Constitution”).

Facts. Federal authorities, working with an informant, were able to electronically record conversations with the Respondent that were later used to convict the Respondent. Authorities used radio equipment to record several conversations, as well as personally overhearing the conversations. The electronic recordings were shared with other agents.

Issue. Whether the electronic recording of private conversations with the Respondent for the purpose of instantaneous dissemination with other agents violates the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution?

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