The exclusionary rule exempts some evidence even when the seizure or location of the evidence may violate the Fourth Amendment. The rule also provides some benefits and detriments for members of the criminal justice system when gathering evidence or prosecuting offenders. However, the exclusionary rule is an important doctrine to members of the criminal justice system demonstrating a means to introduce evidence in the furtherance of justice.
The exclusionary rule prevents evidence obtained by the criminal justice system in violation of the Fourth Amendment guarantee against unreasonable search or seizure is not allowable to prove the guilt of an accused person in a criminal prosecution. However, the primary purpose of the rule is to deter police misconduct by preventing the gathering of evidence in violation of the Fourth Amendment (Del Carmen, 2010).
The rule also strengthens the protections offered by the Fourth Amendment by allowing defendants a means to object to illegally obtained evidence.
The rule originally applied to federal courts only. However, the decision of the United States Supreme Court in the case of Mapp v. Ohio (1961) incorporated the inclusion of state courts for using the exclusionary rule from the Fourteenth Amendment to include the protections of the Fourth Amendment thereby requiring the state courts to provide the protections of the Bill of Rights to defendants. This inclusion of state courts ensures defendants receive the same protections from tainted evidence or police misconduct (Del Carmen, 2010).
Computer Generated Evidence In Court Introduction We are living in what is usually described as an 'information society' and as the business community makes ever greater use of computers the courts are going to find that increasingly the disputes before them turn on evidence which has at some stage passed through or been processed by a computer. In order to keep instep with this practice it is ...
The exclusionary rule provides extra protections for defendants; however, certain circumstances exist allowing the introduction of gathered evidence that violates the defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights. These exceptions include good faith errors, independent sources, inevitable discovery, and the purged taint exception. The good faith exception allows the introduction of evidence collected by law enforcement that on review violates the defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights.
A defective search warrant may taint the collected evidence; however, law enforcement officers acting under good faith a search warrant is valid may present the tainted evidence at trial because the initial error lies with the judge approving the probable cause for the warrant (Del Carmen, 2010).
The independent source exception allows the introduction of evidence obtained via the direct result of an illegal search or seizure if the connection between the illegal police conduct and the seizure of the evidence dissipates the taint of illegality.
If the police possess an independent source used to obtain entry on a search and discover contraband based on the source in an illegal manner, then the seizure of the evidence is admissible regardless of the illegal entry or search (Del Carmen, 2010).
The inevitable discovery doctrine allows the introduction of evidence of a defendant’s guilt that is inadmissible under the exclusionary rule. The doctrine states evidence obtained in violation of a defendant’s constitutional rights may be admissible if normal police investigation will inevitably lead to the discovery of the evidence.
In Nix v. Williams (1984), the Supreme Could held the statements made a defendant at the prodding of a police officer after the defendant’s refusal to speak without an attorney could be introduced as evidence. The basis for the decision was the concurrent search for evidence by volunteers in the same area as the defendant indicated after the prodding by the officer. The court held police would locate the evidence because of the concurrent search regardless of the defendant’s statements; therefore, the evidence is admissible (Del Carmen, 2010).
A dog is mans best friend, as a saying goes, but each dog is friend to certain extent. That is each dog has particular traits that can serve toward a specific use or purpose only. It also means that you cant take just any dog and train him to do whatever you want. But if you make a right choice for a task you want and train a dog properly, you will have a great pay back as a faithful and helpful ...
The purged taint exception allows evidence collected or obtained illegally to be admissible when certain actions “purge” the taint of illegal seizure. In Wong Sun v. United States (1963), the Supreme Court held the confession of Sun was admissible because Sun voluntarily returned to a police station and confessed to a crime after a previous illegal search by police officers. The voluntary return and confession purged the taint from an illegal search making the confession admissible as evidence (Del Carmen, 2010).
The exclusionary rule offers a few benefits for the criminal justice system. The rule deters law enforcement from violating the rights of citizens when gathering evidence. The rule also reinforces the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment as it prevents members of the criminal justice system from ignoring the guarantees of the due process laws. This prevention of police abuse and recognition of due process laws allows the individuals of society to be secure in their freedoms (Del Carmen, 2010).
The exclusionary rule also offers a major detriment according to opponents.
Members of the criminal justice system who make errors in searching or seizing a person or property may create a loophole for an offender to escape prosecution. A court may suppress evidence because of the taint of the violation of the defendant’s rights. Additionally, a violation by a court can create an infringement of a defendant’s due process rights resulting in a complete dismissal of criminal charges (Del Carmen, 2010).
There are several alternatives available in lieu of the exclusionary rule. However, they seldom see use.
Officers who violate a person’s rights may be held civilly responsible under tort class actions. Individuals may sue officers and their departments for damages related to the rights violations. An illegal search or seizure may be criminally actionable resulting in the prosecution of an officer for abuse of office. While a damage remedy or incarceration may be more effectual, the Supreme Court emphasizes the exclusion of evidence from illegal searches or seizures as a more effective enforcement of the exclusionary rule (Del Carmen, 2010).
In our society's criminal justice system, justice equals punishment. You do the crime, and you do the time. Once you have done the time, you have paid your debt to society and justice has been done. Because our society defines justice in this manner, the victims of crimes often seek the most severe possible punishment for their offenders. Society tells them this will bring justice, but it often ...
The exclusionary rule is an important aspect of the American criminal justice system and should be continued. It provides exceptions to potential mistakes members of the criminal justice system may make under good faith. Even though there are other alternatives to the exclusionary rule, the rule provides enhanced protections for citizens while allowing exclusions to prevent some criminal cases from ever receiving a day in court.