Terry vs. Ohio Court Case Short Summary

The case involved a police officer, McFadden, and two suspects, John and Terry. The incident took place on 31st October 1963 (Harris, 2012). Officer McFadden noticed that suspicious behavior between Terry and John, who were standing o the street corner. Their frequent movements raised the alarm, and the officer had to watch them. He later arrested the two suspects, John and Terry, who were charged for unlawfully carrying concealed weapons. Terry and John were found guilty as the judge stated that it was out of suspicious behaviors that the two were arrested, and it was legal to frisk and arrest them.

The Fifth Amendment gives police the power to act upon noticing suspicious acts on people. The law also prohibits unlawful carrying and use of guns. Terry and Johnson broke this law and were subject to a court hearing. However, Terry’s lawyer made a motion by stating that the frisk was unlawful as highlighted in the Fourth Amendment and using the pistol as part of the evidence was a violation of the law (Harris, 2012). His call was denied, and Terry was convicted as the judge stated that stop and frisk are legal and the police had the right to do so. Terry appealed to the Ohio District Court of Appeals but was unsuccessful.

After appealing at the Ohio District Court of Appeal, he later went to Ohio Supreme Court and was denied his will. An appeal to the United States Supreme Court found him innocent (Harris, 2012). It was right for officer McFadden to stop and frisk Terry and John. He acted upon noticing some suspicious behaviors between the two. It is always good to act before the damage is done. However, it was unclear if the two had a plan to rob a nearby store, and thus it would be unjust to convict them.

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