The Bill of Rights and the 14th Amendment

Third and Fourth Amendments

Who was Dollree Mapp?

The defendant in Mapp v. Ohio (1961; see LegalSpeak, p. 63) was Dollree Mapp. The case began when at least seven Cleveland police officers searched for gambling paraphernalia in the home of Dollree Mapp. Instead, the officers found pornographic books, which they labeled obscene. Mapp was found not guilty of gambling charges but was convicted on the obscenity charges. The case eventually reached the U.S. Supreme Court, which reversed her conviction because the police officers failed to produce a search warrant before rummaging through Mapp’s home.

Mapp was known in boxing circles. She was the ex-wife of former top-ranked light-heavyweight and heavyweight boxer Jimmy Bivins. Then, in 1956, Mapp filed a $750,000 lawsuit against world light-heavyweight champion Archie Moore. She claimed that Moore broke a promise to marry her and physically assaulted her. Mapp moved to Queens, New York. In 1970, police officers seized $250,000 in drugs and stolen property. Mapp was convicted and sentenced to a prison term of 20 years to life. Mapp claimed the charges were a vendetta against her after her famous case. In 1981, Governor Hugh Carey commuted Mapp’s sentence. She had served more than nine years in a women’s prison in New Bedford, New York.

Ironically, there was another soon-to-be famous person in the Mapp case who would later play a large role in the sport of boxing. Famed boxing promoter Don King used to be involved in gambling and numbers in Ohio. It was his phone call that led the police to believe there was gambling paraphernalia in Mapp’s house.


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