Criminal Procedure – Searches and Seizures – Admissibility of Evidence Obtained Through Unlawful Search and Seizure

Defendants were prosecuted and convicted of conspiring to engage in horserace bookmaking and related offenses. The police had secured evidence of defendants’ activities by concealing a listening device in premises occupied by them and also by unauthorized and forcible searches. The trial court admitted the evidence so obtained, notwithstanding the fact that the police action in securing it was clearly in violation of both federal and state constitutions and statutes. After conviction, the trial court denied defendants’ motion for a new trial. On appeal, held, reversed, three justices dissenting. Evidence obtained in violation of the defendants’ constitutional rights is inadmissible in a criminal prosecution. People v. Cahan, (Cal. 1955) 282 P. (2d) 905.