The Exclusionary Rule: A Deterrent to Unconstitutional Searches and Seizures

1. Introduction

The law enforcement investigate crimes and criminals in order to protect the innocent and law-abiding citizens. The police officers use different methods during their investigations, which sometimes might be illegal or in breach of the constitutional stipulations. The use of the illegal search is one of the common methods that the police officers use during their investigations (Hudson v. Michigan, 2006). However, there is a rule that is meant to control the way evidence is used in court, and it is called the exclusionary rule. The Exclusionary rule provides that any illegally or unlawfully obtained evidence by the police officers cannot be used by the prosecutor as against the defendant in a criminal trial. In other words, if the police officers use an illegal search or seizure while investigating a crime, any evidence that they collect as a result of that search or seizure cannot be used against the defendant in court. This rule is based on the due process clause which is found in the Fourth and Fifth Amendments to the United States Constitution (Hudson v. Michigan, 2006).

2. What is the Exclusionary Rule?

The exclusionary rule is a judicially created remedy that is used to deter law enforcement officers from conducting searches and seizures in violation of the constitutional rights of criminal suspects (Hudson v. Michigan, 2006). The exclusionary rule applies to all stages of a criminal proceeding, from investigation through trial (Hudson v. Michigan, 2006). When the exclusionary rule is applied, any illegally or unlawfully obtained evidence by the police officers cannot be used by the prosecutor as against the defendant in a criminal trial (Hudson v. Michigan, 2006). This rule is based on the due process clause which is found in the Fourth and Fifth Amendments to the United States Constitution (Hudson v. Michigan, 2006).

3. When is the Exclusionary Rule Applied?

The exclusionary rule is usually applied when there has been a search or seizure by law enforcement officers in violation of the constitutional rights of a criminal suspect (Hudson v. Michigan, 2006). For example, if a police officer conducts a search without a warrant or without probable cause, any evidence obtained as a result of that search may be excluded from use at trial (Hudson v. Michigan, 2006). Similarly, if a police officer seizes evidence without a warrant or without probable cause, that evidence may also be excluded from use at trial (Hudson v. Michigan, 2006). The exclusionary rule may also be applied when law enforcement officers obtain evidence through means that are not constitutionally permissible, such as through entrapment or coerced confessions (Hudson v. Michigan, 2006).

4. The Exclusionary Rule and Due Process

The exclusionary rule is based on the principle of due process, which requires that criminal defendants be given a fair and impartial trial (Hudson v. Michigan, 2006). Due process includes the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures by the government (Hudson v. Michigan, 2006). When law enforcement officers conduct illegal searches and seizures, they violate the constitutional rights of criminal suspects (Hudson v. Michigan, 2006). The exclusionary rule is meant to deter such violations by excluding illegally obtained evidence from use at trial (Hudson v. Michigan, 2006).

5. The Exclusionary Rule and Juror Bias

The exclusionary rule may also be used to exclude evidence that was obtained through means that would result in juror bias (Hudson v. Michigan, 2006). For example, if a police officer obtained evidence through an illegal search or seizure, that evidence may be excluded from use at trial because it would likely result in juror bias (Hudson v. Michigan, 2006). Similarly, if a police officer obtained evidence through means that are not constitutionally permissible, such as through entrapment or coerced confessions, that evidence may also be excluded from use at trial because it would likely result in juror bias (Hudson v. Michigan, 2006).

6. The Exclusionary Rule and Phone Tapping

The exclusionary rule may also be used to exclude evidence that was obtained through phone tapping (Hudson v. Michigan, 2006). Phone tapping is a form of electronic surveillance in which law enforcement officers intercept and record telephone conversations (Hudson v. Michigan, 2006). Phone tapping is generally only permissible if law enforcement officers obtain a warrant from a judge (Hudson v. Michigan, 2006). If law enforcement officers obtain evidence through phone tapping without a warrant, that evidence may be excluded from use at trial (Hudson v. Michigan, 2006).

7. Conclusion

The exclusionary rule is a judicially created remedy that is used to deter law enforcement officers from conducting searches and seizures in violation of the constitutional rights of criminal suspects. The exclusionary rule applies to all stages of a criminal proceeding, from investigation through trial. When the exclusionary rule is applied, any illegally or unlawfully obtained evidence by the police officers cannot be used by the prosecutor as against the defendant in a criminal trial. This rule is based on the due process clause which is found in the Fourth and Fifth Amendments to the United States Constitution.

FAQ

The exclusionary rule is a legal principle that holds that evidence collected or obtained in violation of the law cannot be used by the government in criminal prosecutions.

The exclusionary rule works to protect individuals from unlawful searches and seizures by the government.

The exclusionary rule is important because it helps to ensure that the government does not abuse its power to search and seize individuals' property without justification.