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43 Calif. L. Rev. 565 (1955)
Exclusion of Evidence Obtained by Illegal Searches--A Comment on People v. Cahan

handle is hein.journals/calr43 and id is 583 raw text is: California Law Review
VoL. 43                   OCTOBER, 1955                      No. 4
Exclusion of Evidence Obtained by Illegal
Searches -A Comment on People vs. Cahan
Edward L. Barrett, Jr.*
Charles H. Cahan and fifteen others were charged with conspiring to
engage in horse-race bookmaking and related offenses. Six of the defend-
ants pleaded guilty. At the trial of the others the prosecution relied primar-
ily upon evidence of two types: recordings made of conversations taking
place in two houses occupied by some of the defendants (but not Cahan),
and evidence seized at various locations when the police broke in and ar-
rested the occupants. Testimony at the trial showed that the recordings
were made after dictographs had been installed with permission of the
chief of police but without the knowledge of the occupants. There was also
testimony that the arrests and seizures were made without warrants, and in
most cases after forcible entries which were not preceded by demands for
admittance. The defense argued at the trial that all of this evidence must
be excluded because, on the authority of Rochin v. California,' admission
of evidence so obtained would be a violation of the due process clause of the
fourteenth amendment to the United States Constitution. The trial judge
rejected this contention and the case was tried on the theory that it was
irrelevant whether the police acted legally in obtaining the evidence. One
defendant was found not guilty and all the others, including Cahan, were
convicted. Cahan was granted probation for five years on the condition that
he spend the first 90 days in the county jail and pay a fine of $2,000. He
appealed from the order granting him probation and the order denying his
motion for a new trial.
On the appeal counsel for Cahan and for the state argued primarily the
question of the sufficiency of the evidence. Minor attention was given by
each side to the defense argument that the Federal Constitution compelled
rejection of the evidence. Neither side briefed or argued the question
whether (aside from constitutional compulsion) the longstanding California
*Professor of Law, University of California, Berkeley.
1342 U.S. 165 (1952). The statements made in this paragraph and the succeeding para-
graph regarding the conduct of the trial and the appeal were derived from a personal inspection
of the record and briefs on file in the office of the Clerk of the Supreme Court of California.

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