Cupp v. Murphy
412 U.S. 291 (1973)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Cupp v. Murphy, 412 U.S. 291 (1973)

Cupp v. Murphy

No. 72-212

Argued March 20, 1973

Decided May 29, 1973

412 U.S. 291

Syllabus

Over respondent's protest and without a warrant, police in the course of station house questioning in connection with a murder took samples from the respondent's fingernails and discovered evidence used to convict him. Respondent had come to the station house voluntarily, and had not been arrested, although he was detained and there was probable cause to believe that he had committed the murder. In reversing the District Court's denial of habeas corpus, the Court of Appeals concluded that, absent arrest or other exigent circumstances, the search was unconstitutional.

Held: In view of the station house detention upon probable cause, the very limited intrusion undertaken to preserve highly evanescent evidence was not violative of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments. Pp. 412 U. S. 293-296.

461 F.2d 1006, reversed.

STEWART, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which BURGER, C.J., and WHITE, MARSHALL, BLACKMUN, POWELL, and REHNQUIST, JJ., joined. WHITE, J., filed a concurring statement, post, p. 412 U. S. 297. MARSHALL, J., filed a concurring opinion, post, p. 412 U. S. 297. BLACKMUN, J., filed a concurring opinion, in which BURGER, C.J., joined, post, p. 412 U. S. 300. POWELL, J., filed a concurring opinion, in which BURGER, C.J., and REHNQUIST, J., joined, post, p. 412 U. S. 300. DOUGLAS, J., post, p. 412 U. S. 301, and BRENNAN, J., post, p. 412 U. S. 305, filed opinions dissenting in part.

Page 412 U. S. 292

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