Fuller v. Alaska, No. 249

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtPER CURIAM; BLACK; DOUGLAS
Citation89 S.Ct. 61,21 L.Ed.2d 212,393 U.S. 80
PartiesHarold C. FULLER v. ALASKA
Docket NumberNo. 249
Decision Date28 October 1968

393 U.S. 80
89 S.Ct. 61
21 L.Ed.2d 212
Harold C. FULLER

v.

ALASKA.

No. 249.
Oct. 28, 1968.
Rehearing Denied Dec. 9, 1968.
See 393 U.S. 992, 89 S.Ct. 442.

George Kaufmann, for petitioner.

PER CURIAM.

Petitioner was convicted of shooting with intent to kill or wound and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Over petitioner's objection that it was obtained in violation of § 605 of the Federal Communications Act, 48 Stat. 1103, 47 U.S.C. § 605, the prosecution introduced in evidence a telegram allegedly sent by petitioner to an accomplice. The Supreme Court of Alaska affirmed, holding that it did not need to decide whether § 605 had actually been violated since the evidence was in any event admissible in state trials under Schwartz v. State of Texas, 344 U.S. 199, 73 S.Ct. 232, 97 L.Ed. 231.

In Lee v. State of Florida, 392 U.S. 378, 88 S.Ct. 2096, 20 L.Ed.2d 1166, we overruled Schwartz v. State of Texas and held that evidence violative of § 605 is not admissible in state criminal trials. The decision of the Alaska Supreme Court cannot stand, therefore, if Lee is to be applied retroactively. We hold, however, that the exclusionary rule of Lee is to be given prospective application, and, accordingly, we affirm.

Page 81

Prospective application of Lee is supported by all of the considerations outlined in Stovall v. Denno, 388 U.S. 293, 297, 87 S.Ct. 1967, 1970, 18 L.Ed.2d 1199.1 The purpose of Lee was in no sense to 'enhance the reliability of the fact-finding process at trial.' Johnson v. State of New Jersey, 384 U.S. 719, 729, 86 S.Ct. 1772, 1778, 16 L.Ed.2d 882. Like Mapp v. Ohio, 367 U.S. 643, 81 S.Ct. 1684, 6 L.Ed.2d 1081, Lee was designed to enforce the federal law.2 Linkletter v. Walker, 381 U.S. 618, 639, 85 S.Ct. 1731, 1743, 14 L.Ed.2d 601. And evidence seized in violation of the federal statute is no less relevant and reliable than that seized in violation of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution. Moreover, the States have justifiably relied upon the explicit holding of Schwartz that such evidence was admissible.

Retroactive applicaton of Lee would overturn every state conviction obtained in good-faith reliance on Schwartz. Since this result is not required by the principle upon which Lee was decided, or necessary to accomplish its purpose, we hold that the exclusionary rule is to be applied only to trials in which the evidence is sought to be introduced after the date of our decision in Lee.

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106 practice notes
  • Stone v. Powell Wolff v. Rice, Nos. 74-1055
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • July 6, 1976
    ...22 L.Ed.2d 248 (1969); Linkletter v. Walker, 381 U.S. 618, 636-637, 85 S.Ct. 1731, 1741, 14 L.Ed.2d 601 (1965). Cf. Fuller v. Alaska, 393 U.S. 80, 81, 89 S.Ct. 61, 62, 21 L.Ed.2d 212 (1968). The "attenuation-of-the-taint" doctrine also is consistent with the balancing approach. See Brown v.......
  • People v. Hernandez, Cr. 2736
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • September 22, 1970
    ...case at bench even though it was not final on the date of decision in the Davis case. (Desist v. United States, Supra; Fuller v. Alaska, 393 U.S. 80, 89 S.Ct. 61, 21 L.Ed.2d 212; Johnson v. State of New Jersey, supra. The Motion for Mistrial Defense counsel made a motion for mistrial becaus......
  • State ex rel. Hughes v. Board of Ed. of Kanawha County, Nos. 12887
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • April 14, 1970
    ...Ohio Misc. 57, 244 N.E.2d 537; Rhoades v. School District of Abington Township, 424 Pa. 202, 226 A.2d 53, appeal dismissed, 389 U.S. 11, 89 S.Ct. 61, 19 L.Ed.2d The decision of the Court in these cases relates solely to the duties of the respondent county boards of education in relation to ......
  • Johnson, In re, Cr. 13672
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • October 29, 1970
    ...seized in violation of section 605 of the Federal Page 574 [475 P.2d 846] Communications Act is inadmissible) (Fuller v. Alaska (1968) 393 U.S. 80, 89 S.Ct. 61, 21 L.Ed.2d 212), and Mapp v. Ohio (1961) 367 U.S. 643, 81 S.Ct. 1684, 6 L.Ed.2d 1081 (illegally seized evidence is inadmissible) (......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
106 cases
  • Stone v. Powell Wolff v. Rice, Nos. 74-1055
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • July 6, 1976
    ...22 L.Ed.2d 248 (1969); Linkletter v. Walker, 381 U.S. 618, 636-637, 85 S.Ct. 1731, 1741, 14 L.Ed.2d 601 (1965). Cf. Fuller v. Alaska, 393 U.S. 80, 81, 89 S.Ct. 61, 62, 21 L.Ed.2d 212 (1968). The "attenuation-of-the-taint" doctrine also is consistent with the balancing approach. See Brown v.......
  • People v. Hernandez, Cr. 2736
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • September 22, 1970
    ...case at bench even though it was not final on the date of decision in the Davis case. (Desist v. United States, Supra; Fuller v. Alaska, 393 U.S. 80, 89 S.Ct. 61, 21 L.Ed.2d 212; Johnson v. State of New Jersey, supra. The Motion for Mistrial Defense counsel made a motion for mistrial becaus......
  • State ex rel. Hughes v. Board of Ed. of Kanawha County, Nos. 12887
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • April 14, 1970
    ...Ohio Misc. 57, 244 N.E.2d 537; Rhoades v. School District of Abington Township, 424 Pa. 202, 226 A.2d 53, appeal dismissed, 389 U.S. 11, 89 S.Ct. 61, 19 L.Ed.2d The decision of the Court in these cases relates solely to the duties of the respondent county boards of education in relation to ......
  • Johnson, In re, Cr. 13672
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • October 29, 1970
    ...seized in violation of section 605 of the Federal Page 574 [475 P.2d 846] Communications Act is inadmissible) (Fuller v. Alaska (1968) 393 U.S. 80, 89 S.Ct. 61, 21 L.Ed.2d 212), and Mapp v. Ohio (1961) 367 U.S. 643, 81 S.Ct. 1684, 6 L.Ed.2d 1081 (illegally seized evidence is inadmissible) (......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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