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NCJ Number: 65249 Find in a Library
Title: EXCLUSIONARY RULE DEBATE
Author(s): ANON
Corporate Author: American Judicature Soc
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 80
Sponsoring Agency: American Judicature Soc
Chicago, IL 60601-7401
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: TWO OPPOSING VIEWS ON THE EXCLUSIONARY RULE OF EVIDENCE ARE PRESENTED; ONE ARGUMENT DEFENDS THE RULE AS A PROTECTION OF THE INTEGRITY OF THE JUDICIARY, THE OTHER STATES IT COMPOUNDS INJUSTICE FROM ILLEGAL SEARCH.
Abstract: SIXTY-FIVE YEARS AFTER THE SUPREME COURT BARRED THE USE OF EVIDENCE OBTAINED IN VIOLATION OF THE FOURTH AMENDMENT IN FEDERAL PROSECUTIONS (1914), THE EXCLUSIONARY RULE OF EVIDENCE IS SUBJECT TO CRITICISM. ALTHOUGH THE FOURTH AMENDMENT CONSTITUTES A GUARANTEE AGAINST UNREASONABLE SEARCH AND SEIZURE, IT DOES NOT EXPLICITLY STATE WHAT THE CONSEQUENCES OF A VIOLATION OF THE GUARANTEE SHOULD BE. IN ADDITION, THE ARGUMENT THAT THE TIME LAG BETWEEN THE ADOPTION OF THE FOURTH AMENDMENT AND THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE EXCLUSIONARY RULE IN 1914 RENDERS THE RULE SUBJECT TO QUESTION IS UNCONVINCING. NOR IS IT SUFFICIENT TO SAY THAT THE 14TH AMENDMENT DUE PROCESS PROVISIONS BAR CONVICTIONS BASED ON INHERENTLY UNTRUSTWORTHY EVIDENCE. THE EXCLUSIONARY RULE IS BOTH NECESSARY AND JUSTIFIED. HOWEVER, IT MAY BE ARGUED THAT THE EXCLUSIONARY RULE IS NOT REQUIRED BY THE CONSTITUTION. THE GREATEST OBSTACLE TO REPLACING THE EXCLUSIONARY RULE WITH A RATIONAL PROCESS IS THE MISUNDERSTANDING THAT IT WAS ENSHRINED BY THE FOUNDING FATHERS AND THAT TO ABOLISH IT WOULD DO VIOLENCE TO THE BILL OF RIGHTS. REALISTICALLY, THE RULE CAN NEVER BE ABOLISHED UNTIL BOTH THE PUBLIC AND THE SUPREME COURT ARE SATISFIED THAT A REASONABLE ALTERNATIVE EXISTS. THE RULE IS PURPORTEDLY JUSTIFIED AS A DETERRENT TO POLICE OFFICERS WHO ILLEGALLY SEARCH, AS A PROTECTION OF THE PRIVACY OF THE INDIVIDUAL AGAINST WHOM THE ILLEGAL SEARCHES ARE MADE, AND AS A MEANS OF PROTECTING JUDICIAL INTEGRITY. IN REALITY, THE RULE PRODUCES MANY OPPOSITE EFFECTS FROM THOSE INTENDED. THE CRIMINAL GOES FREE BECAUSE A ROOM IS SEARCHED IN AN ILLEGAL MANNER; DESPITE CONCLUSIVE EVIDENCE OF GUILT, NO CONVICTION CAN RESULT. IT IS SUGGESTED THAT ALTERNATIVES BE DEVELOPED, DRAWING UPON THE EXPERIENCES OF OTHER COUNTRIES AND OF OUR OWN 51 JURISDICTIONS. SOCIAL SCIENTISTS HAVE FAILED TO ESTABLISH CONCLUSIVELY THAT THE RULE DOES DETER POLICE MISCONDUCT. FOOTNOTES, PHOTOGRAPHS, AND SKETCHES ARE PROVIDED. (LWM)
Index Term(s): Critiques; Exclusionary rule; Right to Due Process; Rules of evidence; Search and seizure laws; Trial procedures
Note: REPRINT OF JUDICATURE, THE JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN JUDICATURE SOCIETY, V 62, NOS 2, 5, 7, 9
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=65249

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