Exclusionary Rule Research Paper

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MIDTERM 1 Running Head: MIDTERM Midterm Project Search and Seizure Linda Branstrom Kaplan University CJ 299: Associates Capstone in Criminal Justice Professor Terry Campbell April 22, 2012 MIDTERM 2 Abstract It is firmly ingrained in our system of law that searches conducted outside the judicial process, without prior approval by judge or magistrate, are per se unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment, subject to only a few specifically established exceptions. The courts have outlined a number of exceptions to the warrant requirement including but not limited to, consent searches, searches of vehicles and, inventory searches. One exception the court has expressly and repeatedly refused to recognize is a general…show more content…
It applies to evidence gained from an unreasonable search or seizure in violation of the Fourth Amendment (Mapp v. Ohio, 1961). If evidence falls within the scope of the exclusionary rule led law enforcement to other evidence, which they would not otherwise have located, then the exclusionary rule applies to the related evidence found subsequent to the excluded evidence as well. Such subsequent evidence has taken on the name of “fruit of the poisonous tree” (Silverthorne Lumber Co. v. United States, 1920). The Exclusionary Rule is a court-created remedy and deterrent, not an independent constitutional right. Courts will not apply the rule to exclude illegally gathered evidence where the costs of exclusion outweigh its deterrent or remedial benefits. Thus, the rule is not triggered when courthouse errors lead police officers to mistakenly believe that they have a valid search warrant, because excluding the evidence would not deter police officers from violating the law in the future (Arizona v. Evans, 1996). In this case, no warrant was obtained and, given the improper consent to search, the motion to exclude the physical evidence filed by William Ellis’s attorney would in all likelihood be granted. In sum, the Supreme Court has addressed the issue of a “murder scene” exception to the warrant requirement on three separate occasions spread out over a twenty year period. In each instance, the Court has emphatically rejected the notion that such an exception exists. There appears to be a misconception among law enforcement officers regarding the viability of

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