Essay about Exclusionary Rule: How, When, and Why Was it Established?

Essay about Exclusionary Rule: How, When, and Why Was it Established?

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The Fourth Amendment is the basis for several cherished rights in the United States, and the right to the freedom of unreasonable searches and seizures is among them. Therefore, it would seem illegitimate- even anti-American for any law enforcement agent to search and seize evidence unlawfully or for any court to charge the defendant with a guilty verdict established on illegally attained evidence. One can only imagine how many people would have been sitting in our jails and prisons were it not for the introduction of the exclusionary rule.
The Exclusionary Rule is a law passed by the United States Supreme Court. It demands that “any evidence obtained by police using methods that violate a person’s constitutional rights be excluded from use in a criminal prosecution against that person” (Ferdico, Fradella, and Totten, 2009). Before this rule, under common law, evidence was acknowledged in court as long as it satisfied evidentiary criteria for admissibility such as relevance and trustworthiness. Any evidence meeting these principles was admitted because it was considered to be helping to achieve justice. Under common law, evidence that was attained by illegal searches and seizures was allowed (Tinsley & Kinsella, 2003). During this period, the protections of the Fourth Amendment were unfilled words to persons condemned until 1914 in the case of Weeks v. United States.
In the 1914 landmark case of Weeks v. United States, the Supreme Court created the exclusionary rule and was effectually created to protect people against unreasonable searches and seizures of the federal agents. The Court held that belongings or any evidence apprehended without a warrant or the defendant’s consent will be omitted in a criminal prosecuti...


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...e Heritage Foundation Backgrounder.
Ferdico, J. N., Fradella, H. F., & Totten, C. D. (2009). Criminal Procedure for the Criminal Justice Professional (10th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.
Holten, N. G. & Lamar, L. L. (1991). The Criminal Courts Structures, Personnel, and Processes. Florida: McGraw-Hill, Inc.
Mapp v. Ohio, 367 U. S. 643 (1961). Retrieved Oct 13, 2011, from http://supreme.justia.com/us/367/643/case.html
Tinsley, P., & Kinsella, S. N. (2003). In Defense of Evidence: Against the Exclusionary Rule and Against Libertarian Centralism. Retrieved Nov 15, 2011, from http://www.lewrockwell.com/kinsella/kinsella14.html
Weeks v. United States, 232 U.S. 383 (1914). Retrieved Oct 13, 2011, from http://laws.findlaw.com/us/245/618.html
Wolf v. Colorado, 338 U.S. 25 (1949). Retrieved Oct 13, 2011, from http://laws.findlaw.com/us/338/25.html


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