Exclusionary Rule Essay

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The source of the exclusionary rule comes from the Supreme Court's 1914 verdict in the case of Weeks vs. U.S. The exclusionary rule basically says that illegally collected evidence will not be permitted in court. The rule was first used in the 1961 case of Mapp vs. Ohio. The exclusionary rule comes from the Fourth Amendment's safeguard against illegal searches and seizure of evidence or belongings. The exclusionary rule has typically been utilized to stop prosecutors and law enforcement from unlawfully collecting evidence. Evidence collected because of illegal evidence may be thrown out. For the more than 100 years after the Fourth Amendment was ratified, it held very little weight because any evidence that was obtained by law enforcement through an infringement of search and seizure requirements was still permissible throughout the defendant's trial. The Fourth Amendment law was changed significantly when the Supreme Court made its decision in Weeks v. United States, 232 U.S. 383 (1914). The Weeks case pertained to an appeal by a defendant who was convicted of transporting lottery tickets through the mail. The conviction was based on evidence gathered after law enforcement officers searched the defendant’s home without a warrant and seized the evidence illegally. The defendant’s conviction was overturned by the Supreme Court and this created what we now know as the exclusionary rule. It was in the case of Mapp v. Ohio, 367 U.S. 643 (1961), that the Supreme Court made the rule germane to the states. Justice Day said, "The tendency of those who execute the criminal laws of the country to obtain convictions by means of unlawful searches and enforced confessions . . . should find no sanction in the judgment of the courts which are charged at all times with the support of the Constitution and to which people of all conditions have a right to appeal for the

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