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Legal Evolution of the Exclusionary Rule Essay

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The Constitution of the United States was designed to protect citizens' civil rights from infringement by the government and law enforcement agencies. The Constitution guarantees that the civil liberties of the people of this country shall be respected and upheld. That fact is often considered to be common knowledge and taken for granted by the vast majority of the population. However it was not always that way. American legislation is constantly growing and developing. New rules and practices are being developed and established. The exclusionary rule is considered to be the most vital to the protection of civil rights. The exclusionary rule is represented by the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution and it guarantees that illegally obtained evidence shall not be used against the accused. The history of the development of the exclusionary rule is one of the most fascinating examples of American legal evolution.
The Fourth Amendment is believed to be one the cornerstones of the Constitution. It protects citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures, sets the framework for the warrant rule, and introduces the concept of probable cause into police procedures. The significance of the Fourth Amendment is difficult to overestimate. The warrant rule initiated a giant leap forward in the progress of democracy by abolishing the "general warrant" practice and restricting the invasion of privacy that citizens can be subjected to. The police can no longer engage into "fishing expeditions" against suspicious individuals and prosecute them based on the evidence obtained in direct violation of the Constitution. However, the exclusionary rule had a long history before it could adequately protect citizens. The rule met strong opposition fr...


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DeLeon, Angelo, Weddle H. Garry. (1999). A Summary of U.S. Supreme Court Decisions for the Criminal Justice Community. NY. Looseleaf Law Publications Inc.,

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