Exclusionary Rule

Final Paper
This paper examines the exclusionary rule. Explains the reasons for the origin of the exclusionary rule. The paper contends that use of the exclusionary rule has enabled guilty criminals to go free and that its original intention has been so distorted that it no longer fulfills its intended function and is instead a tool for protecting the rights of criminals Not only how it came about but, the true meaning as well as the exceptions. There are also a number of cases mentioned throughout the paper that have played some role in the exclusionary. 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 Amendment could not be used by the government against a defendant at trial. The Weeks Court further stated that a court should not sanction illegal government conduct by admitting into evidence the fruits of that illegal conduct. In Silverthorne Lumber v. United States, the Supreme Court prohibited introducing evidence which items have been directly seized during an illegal government search also any evidence indirectly derived from that search. Search and seizure without a proper warrant is considered to be unconstitutional and a violation of the Fourth Amendment. In 1914, the Bill of Rights was said to apply only to the federal government which meant the rule did not apply to the state government. State courts then had to consider whether or not to create state exclusionary rules, while some states did a large number of states

opted not to. The rule did not apply to the states until 1961. Due to the Weeks v. United Sates case the exclusionary rule is also referred to as the Weeks Doctrine. In 1949, the Supreme Court decided Wolf v. Colorado where in the Court applied the Fourth Amendment to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment due process clause. The Court considered the prohibition against unreasonable searches or seizures to be a right basic to a free society and implicit in the concept of ordered liberty. The Wolf Court, however, did not view the exclusionary rule as a necessary component of due process and refused to apply the exclusionary rule to the states as a remedy for a violation of the Fourth Amendment. The exclusionary rule is aimed at preventing violations of a person's constitutional rights, especially the rights guaranteed to people under the Fourth Amendment, and, to a lesser extent, under the Fifth and Sixth Amendments. Therefore, the exclusionary rule prohibits the admission of evidence collected in violation of a defendant's constitutional rights, in a criminal prosecution. However, it does not exclude this illegally obtained...

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
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