The Evolution of the Exclusionary Rule

The Evolution of the Exclusionary Rule
A Historical Analysis And How It Stand Today

April Herald
Criminal Justice
From historical analysis, this work highlights key cases that have influenced the evolution of the Exclusionary rule and where it stands today. The purpose of this paper is to inform people of the importance of our constitutional rights, especially the fourth amendment when concerning a criminal prosecution. The exclusionary rule is set in place to ensure justice be served and the accused are treated equally. If you have ever found yourself with a criminal status you should be sure that you were or are treated equal and that you know the law. There has been numerous cases that can be used to show the importance of the exclusionary rule were the prosecuted had their constitutional right violated by the court using illegal evidence, one example is Silverthorne Lumber Co v. United States. The exclusionary rule helps enforce these rights and has a long history. Also, these cases have helped make sure that our constitutional rights are being protected on a daily bases. The article ends supporting the success of the rule working as a deterrent.

Movies and television have portrayed the image of the police as having the authority to search the home of a suspect for criminal activity. The reality is that if a police officer were to obtain evidence without a valid warrant the evidence would more than likely not be admissible in court and a criminal could be set free without punishment. The Exclusionary Rule was created to ensure proper procedure. The Exclusionary Rule is an extremely important subject that has been highly debated with regard to criminal law and the constitution. Supporters of the Rule believe that it is necessary to ensure that the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable search and seizure, does not protect alone in the Bill of Rights. A controversial topic, having opponents of the Rule, believe that is it not grounded in the Constitution, not a deterrent to police misconduct, and not helpful in pursuing justice but protects criminals.

The Development of the Exclusionary Rule The Exclusionary Rule is not outlined in the text of the Constitution and has evolved over time and historically been an evolution stemming from disagreements in criminal proceedings. The Rule was created in 1914 and applied to the states in 1961 by Warren Court. By the 20th century the debate was to reform the Rule or abolish it. History shows the many different cases and how the need arose and changes were imposed, as well as exceptions. The Exclusionary Rule is based on Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution and states: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, horses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon Probable cause, supported by Oath of affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

The Rule gives the court the right to exclude any evidence that law enforcement has obtained illegally. The purpose is to protect the public against intrusion of law enforcement by requiring that they have a valid search warrant prior to any evidence to be removed from a property. During the late 1700 general warrants and writs were very controversial. They were issued by the Secretary of State and were not issued with without probable cause and were abused due to the fact that they were not issued for a specific individual but for everyone and were valid for the duration of the issued name of the monarch. In the late 1800s and early 1900s the first Supreme Court case Boyd v. United States, 18861, changed things drastically. Boyd involved the production of private papers as evidence that demanded the papers produced as evidence and if they were not produced the allegations would be taken...

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American Constitution and Society for Law & Policy.
Nasheri, H. (1996). The Exclusionary Rule: Differing Trends in Canada and the United
States. Criminal Justice Review, 21(2), 1-19.
Atkins, R. A. and Rubin, P. H. (2003) Effects of Criminal Procedure on Crime Rules:
Mapping Out the Consequences of the Exclusionary Rule. Journal of Law & Economics, XLVI.
Gittins, J. R. (2007). Excluding the Exclusionary Rule: Extending the Rationale of Hudson v.
Michigan to Evidence Seized During Unauthorized Nighttime Searches. Brigham Young University Law Review, 2007(2), 451.
Google. (2013). Exclusionary Rule: The Policy Debate. Retrieved March 3, 2010, from
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