Why The Exclusionary Rule And 4th Amendment Are Important Essay

Length: 2 pages Sources: 3 Subject: Criminal Justice Type: Essay Paper: #71089413 Related Topics: Double Jeopardy, Wrongful Conviction, Constitutional Amendments, Search And Seizure
Excerpt from Essay :

¶ … Exclusionary Rule prevents the admission of evidence that was gathered in an unconstitutional way as specified by the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution, which covers the parameters of searches and seizures. In fact, officers of the law who conducted unlawful searches or seizures of property could be subject to prosecution under state or statutory law, and in some rare cases, may face criminal charges ("Alternatives to the Exclusionary Rule," n.d.). The exclusionary rule does sometimes constrain police behavior in criminal cases, potentially preventing the acquisition of evidence in "good faith," in the presence of "exigent circumstances," or even when probable cause can be retroactively determined ("Alternatives to the Exclusionary Rule," n.d.). Therefore, the Exclusionary Rule should not be banned; quite the contrary, it prevents abuses of power or misconduct by law enforcement. The Exclusionary Rule also ensures that criminal trials are conducted in accordance with Constitutional values and laws.

Prior to the 1914 Supreme Court decision Weeks v. United States, there was no Exclusionary Rule. In Weeks v. United States, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a defendant appealing...


To qualify for the Exclusionary Rule, the burden of proof is generally placed on the defendant, who must bring a motion to dismiss the evidence. If the motion to suppress the evidence were to be denied, and the defendant was later convicted, the defendant may appeal and the double jeopardy rule might even be waived "because the trial court's error did not go to the question of guilt or innocence, ("The Fourth Amendment and the 'Exclusionary Rule,'" n.d.). The Exclusionary Rule ideally prevents wrongful convictions.

In most cases, the Exclusionary Rule is comprehensive enough to cause the suppression of all evidence from a wrongful search and seizure, and not even just that which was specified in the warrant. Known as the "fruit of the poisonous tree" doctrine, courts may suppress all evidence connected with an unlawful search and seizure to protect the rights of the defendant to a fair trial. The Exclusionary Rule and its corollary "fruit of the poisonous tree" are occasional thorns in the side of law enforcement, and often make the task of evidence gathering difficult. However, the difficulty of performing the roles and duties of law enforcement…

Sources Used in Documents:


"Alternatives to the Exclusionary Rule," (n.d.). Retrieved online: http://law.justia.com/constitution/us/amendment-04/30-exclusionary-rule.html

"The Fourth Amendment and the 'Exclusionary Rule.'" (n.d.). Retrieved online: http://criminal.findlaw.com/criminal-rights/the-fourth-amendment-and-the-exclusionary-rule.html

Cite this Document:

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