Payton v. New York

445 U.S. 573 (1980)


There were two different cases consolidated in one action. In the first case, six New York City police officers went to Payton's (D) apartment at 7:30 A.M., without a warrant, to arrest him for murder. They had assembled evidence sufficient to establish probable cause to believe that D had murdered the manager of a gas station two days earlier. They knocked, but no one answered. Since they could see light and hear music coming from the apartment, the police broke in. No one was there. In plain view was a .30-caliber shell casing that was seized and later admitted into evidence at D's murder trial. D was convicted. In the second case, New York City policemen went to Riddick's (D) apartment at noon without a warrant to arrest him for two robberies. When D's three-year-old son opened the door, the police barged in and arrested D, who was in bed. The police also searched around the house finding drugs, etc. in a bedroom drawer. D was later convicted on drug charges. Both Ds appealed their conviction, claiming that the arrests were unconstitutional for lack of warrant.