The Fourth amendment guards against unreasonable searches and seizures, along with requiring any warrant to be judicially sanctioned and supported by probable cause. The interpretation and execution of the Fourth amendment in the courtroom however, is decided by the Supreme Court in an attempt to find a fair balance between individual and community interests. The exclusionary rule for example, is a Supreme Court precedent that holds police departments responsible for seizing incriminating information according to constitutional specifications of due process, or the information will not be allowed as evidence in a criminal trial. The question that arises in turn, is whether the exclusionary rule has handcuffed the abilities to effectively protect the community by the police, or if it has actually resulted in a positive police reform which needs to be expanded upon.
My opinion is that although the exclusionary rule may significantly slow down the police department’s investigation and arrest process, it is a necessary “evil” in order to protect the rights of the individuals who in fact should not have their homes searched. I do however, agree that without the restrictions of the exclusionary rule police departments would be able to do their job a lot faster and more effectively, without having to worry about first getting a search warrant or after getting “slam dunk” evidence, having to see a case thrown out because it was not obtained through due process. My personal concern for allowing the police such a high level of discretion though, is that in the heat of the investigation and desire to catch or lock away a suspect, police may search the homes of people related, associated, or even suspected of having connections to the suspect in order to get information that could result in a guilty verdict, which would potentially violate the privacy of people who potentially are not connected to the crime or suspect being investigated.
If I was personally appointed...
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