UNITED STATES v. WHITE

Print this Page
Case Basics
Docket No. 
13
Petitioner 
United States
Respondent 
James A. White
Advocates
(Assistant Attorney General, Department of Justice, argued the cause for the United States)
(argued the cause for the respondent)
Tags
Term:
Facts of the Case 

A government informant, Harvey Jackson, wore a concealed radio transmitter and engaged in four conversations with defendant White at three different locations: Jackson's house, a restaurant, and Jackson's automobile. Government agents listened to each of the radio transmissions, thereby overhearing defendant White make self-incriminating remarks regarding his involvement in multiple narcotics transactions. Jackson was unavailable during the trial, so the prosecution offered the testimony of the agents who had conducted the electronic surveillance as evidence.

Question 

Does the 4th Amendment bar from evidence the testimony of government agents relating certain conversations that occurred between a defendant and an undercover government informant, which the agents overheard while monitoring the frequency of a radio transmitter concealed on the body of that informant?

Conclusion 
Decision: 5 votes for United States, 4 vote(s) against
Legal provision: Amendment 4: Fourth Amendment

No. The testimony of government agents, relating conversations between a defendant and an undercover informant, overheard via electronic surveillance, is admissible, despite the informant's unavailability at trial. This case expanded the principle announced in Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347 (1967). (Abstract prepared by Blaine Schmidt.)

Cite this Page
UNITED STATES v. WHITE. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 04 April 2014. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/1960-1969/1969/1969_13>.
UNITED STATES v. WHITE, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1960-1969/1969/1969_13 (last visited April 4, 2014).
"UNITED STATES v. WHITE," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed April 4, 2014, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1960-1969/1969/1969_13.