Exclusionary Rule Essay

977 Words4 Pages
Exclusionary Rule Evaluation John Stepney CJA/364 November 5, 2013 Kenneth Overwater Abstract The Fourth Amendment always has protected the three civil rights of liberty, property, and privacy. Under the Fourth Amendment the exclusionary rule was designed to sustain that any evidence that was obtained illegally by government officials is a violation of a defendant's constitutional rights and cannot be used against the defendant in a court of law. The reader will be informed of the rationale and purpose of the exclusionary rule and identify exceptions to the rule. It will also analyze the costs and benefits as well as alternative remedies to the exclusionary rule. Exclusionary Rule Evaluation In the 18th century the exclusionary rule under common law did not allow coerced confessions of defendants to be admitted in trial courts. It did not protect defendants from evidence that government officials seized during illegal searches from trials. Weeks v. United States (1914) held that the exclusionary rule was a part of the Fourth Amendment, and any illegally seized evidence cannot be used against the defendant. The decision made the exclusionary rule a constitutional requirement, but it did not bind states. Incorporating the rule to the state level was initiated in 1961 by way of the opinion of Mapp v. Ohio. The Fourth Amendment Exclusionary Rule became binding to the states under the Due Process Clause, which protects civilians from the denial of life, liberty, or property (Zalman, 2011). The primary goal of the Exclusionary Rule was to combat police misconduct that violates constitutional rights, which possibly could lead to civil and federal lawsuits against police and municipalities for ongoing wrong. The Exclusionary Rule encourages police officers to adhere to the rights outlined in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. This
Open Document