For example, one provision of the Patriot Act "permitted law enforcement to obtain access to tapping stored voicemails by obtaining a basic search warrant rather than a surveillance warrant," even though "obtaining the former requires a much lower evidentiary showing" and wiretapping more accurately seems to mirror surveillance technology, rather than single-incident searches of the premises for specific items (Fourth amendment, 2009, Wex Law). Another provision of the Patriot Act allowed law enforcement to use sneak-and-peak warrants, which meant that they could "delay notifying the property owner about the warrant's issuance" although this was struck down as unconstitutional (Fourth amendment, 2009, Wex Law).
The Patriot Act itself for many Americans highlighted the fragility of American's rights during times of national fear. It also showed the importance of the exclusionary rule, given how even well-intentioned zeal can result in innocent Americans having their privacy being violated by law-enforcement personnel. As surveillance technology grows increasingly sophisticated, the need for the exclusionary rule has grown. Furthermore, the myriad of exceptions for the exclusionary rule highlight the fallacy that the rule frequently results in individuals being let go simply on legal technicalities. In the real world, protecting American's rights is more of a challenge than trying to prevent an entire case dissolving because of a small legal snafu regarding the exclusionary rule.
Blackstone. (2009). Legal Dictionary. Retrieved May 5, 2009 at http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Blackstone,+Sir+William
Evaluation of the exclusionary rule. (2009). essortment. Retrieved May 5, 2009 at http://www.essortment.com/all/exclusionaryrul_rmlx.htm/
Fourth amendment. (2009). Wex Law. Cornell University. Retrieved May 5, 2009 at http://topics.law.cornell.edu/wex/fourth_amendment
Fruit of the poisonous tree. (2009). Law Encyclopedia. Retrieved May 5, 2009 at http://law.jrank.org/pages/7042/Fruit-Poisonous-Tree.html
Lynch, Timothy. (1998). "In defense of the exclusionary rule."
Cato Policy Analysis: 319. Retrieved May 5, 2009 at http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa-319es.html
The U.S. Constitution. (2009). Retrieved May 5, 2009 at http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/constitution.table.html#amendments