Citation. Bumper v. North Carolina, 391 U.S. 543, 88 S. Ct. 1788, 20 L. Ed. 2d 797, 1968 U.S. LEXIS 1470, 46 Ohio Op. 2d 382 (U.S. June 3, 1968)
Brief Fact Summary. An individual was accused of rape and one piece of evidence used to accuse him was a .22-caliber rifle found in his grandmothers home.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. “A search conducted in reliance upon a warrant cannot later be justified on the basis of consent if it turns out that the warrant was invalid.”
The petitioner lived with his grandmother, a 66-year-old negro widow, in a rural area. Two days after an alleged rape, four white police officers went to the widow’s house and her that they had a search warrant to search her house. She told them they could conduct their search and they found a .22 caliber rifle gun eventually introduced into evidence.
During a suppression hearing, the four officers testified that they relied not on the search warrant, but on the widow’s consent to conduct their search. The widow testified that she believed the officers had a valid search and that she did not know her grandson was being accused of anything when the search was conducted. The trial court found that the widow consented to the search. Issue.
“[W]hether a search can be justified as lawful on the basis of consent when that ”consent’ has been given only after the official conducting the search has asserted that he possesses a warrant?