According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, “A legal rule that bars unlawfully obtained evidence from being used in court proceedings.” The dictionary provides a basic definition for all to understand however, the definition of the U.S. Supreme Court is more in depth. The U.S. Supreme Court’s definition states, “The name commonly given to the principle that evidence obtained by the government in violation of a defendant's constitutional right may not be used against him. A defendant may prevent the prosecution from using evidence against her by making a “motion to suppress” before trial asking the judge to rule that the evidence is inadmissible.”
The law, 18 U.S.C. sections 3501, provides that courts should weigh a number of factors in deciding whether a statement made by a suspect in custody was voluntary. The Exclusionary Rule rights listed in the Constitution to have substance, there must be enforceable remedies imposed on the government for violations of those rights (Shanks 22).
The exclusionary rule was first introduced in 1914 during the case Weeks v. United States. . In this case a federal marshal conducted a search without having the proper warrant and seized illegal lottery tickets. The Weeks Court felt that the only effective way to enforce the Fourth Amendment right to be secure from unreasonable searches and seizures was to adopt a rule that evidence seized in violation of the Fourth
Cited: Barrett Jr., Edward L. "Police Practices and the Law--From Arrest to Release or Charge." California Law Review 50.1 (n.d.): 11-55 Dix, E. "Nonconstitutional Exclusionary Rules in Criminal Procedure." American Criminal Law Review 27.1 (Summer 1989): 53-118 Jackson, D. W., and J. W. Riddlesperger.. "Whatever Happened to the Exclusionary Rule?” The Burger Court and the Fourth Amendment." Criminal Justice Policy Review 1.2 (May 1986): 156-168. Shanks, B.F. " Exclusionary Rules.” (1992): 10-45 “Exclusionary Rule." Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. 2009. Merriam-Webster Online. 3 April 2009 http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exclusionary rule “Exclusionary Rule”. 3 April 2009 http://wwwuslaw.com/exclusionary/rule