Williams v. United States (401 U.S. 646)

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Williams v. United States (401 U.S. 646)
Court Documents

United States Supreme Court

401 U.S. 646

Williams  v.  United States (401 U.S. 646)

 Argued: Oct. 21, 1970. --- Decided: April 5, 1971


In No. 81, here on direct review, petitioner was convicted of selling narcotics after a trial in which heroin seized in a search incident to his arrest was introduced into evidence. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that the intervening decision in Chimel v. California, 395 U.S. 752, 89 S.Ct. 2034, 23 L.Ed.2d 685, narrowing the scope of permissible searches incident to arrest, was not to be retroactively applied to searches antedating the date it was decided, and that the search was valid under pre-Chimel law. Evidence at the trial of petitioner in No. 82 included marked bills seized during a pre-Chimel search of his apartment following his arrest on narcotics charges. The arrest and search were upheld at trial, on direct appeal, and in the District Court and Court of Appeals in proceedings under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. Held: The judgments are affirmed. Pp. 649-666, 699-700.

No. 81, 9 Cir., 418 F.2d 159, and No. 82, affirmed.

Mr. Justice WHITE, joined by THE CHIEF JUSTICE, Mr. Justice STEWART, and Mr. Justice BLACKMUN, concluded that Chimel, supra, is not retroactive and should not be applied to searches conducted prior to the date of that decision. Pp. 649-659.


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).