Analysis of the Rationale and Purpose of the Exclusionary Rule
The exclusionary rule is not in the Constitution because it was made by the court due to the need that presented itself. The intension was to make sure that the 4th Amendment was kept and not violated. Most people are aware of their right to privacy, and how it protects them from unwarranted searches. Nevertheless, most of them do not comprehend how the Exclusionary Rule ensures this right is guarded. The Exclusionary Rule is intended to refrain the police from actions that will violate the right to privacy. The 4th Amendment protects every citizen from illegal searches and arrests. When the police violate this amendment, the evidence they have collected will be not accepted in the federal court.
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There are three fundamentals of the exclusionary rule. Foremost, it includes an illegal action by an officer of police or an agent of the police. Subsequently, evidence of this action by the police and agents of police must be obtained. The last element stipulates that a link between the evidence acquired and the unauthorized action done must exist. In case a link cannot be established between the evidence and the illegal action committed in the acquisition of the evidence, then by the doctrine of attenuation, the evidence falls outside the exclusionary rule.
If the defense is convinced that such violation of the 4th amendment has been done, a motion may be filed by the defense lawyer, to suppress the acquired evidence. The prosecutor will then try to prove otherwise by re-examining the availed evidence. Failure to which, the case will go ahead without the inclusion of the disputed evidence. In other cases, to decide the worthiness of the witness, the evidence may be used in court. Besides this, the evidence may be used in the civil court and the hearings of the grand jury.
Three situations are considered to exempt the exclusionary rule. The first one being the Doctrine of Independent Source. With this exception, the evidence is held in two unrelated physical ways: legal and illegal seizures.
The other Doctrine considered in this exception is that of Inevitable Discovery. With this exception, two modes of seizing the evidence are considered but only one is physical. Unauthorized way employed in physical obtaining of evidence. The other seizure of evidence is hypothetical and is seized illegally.
Good Faith is the last exception. In this case, the magistrate issues a seizure warrant for acquiring the evidence. The limitation of this exception is that, if the defense can convince the judge that the officer was reckless in seizing the evidence, then the good faith will be nullified.
There is a public and governmental cost that is imposed by the exclusionary rule on the public when it frees the guilty and sidetracks the court on its mandate to get the truth. The fabric of the law is also tainted. There are professional costs also incurred by people within the system of criminal justice. The rigidity of the law causes the concerned parties like the police, magistrates, and lawyers to allow double standards to go ahead with a case. To close a case, they ignore certain violations of this strict rule to allow the use of evidence. When the exclusionary rule is upheld, there are administrative costs imposed on the government coffers. The burden of these costs is paid to the taxpayer. The costs come about as a result of prolonged court proceedings and the accumulation of pending cases in court. To ensure cost-benefit efficiency, the court should strike a balance in enforcing the rule.
There is a need for the creation of a substitute mechanism that will control police conduct. With such mechanisms in place, the exclusionary rule will not be misused and manipulated, thus will keep its applicability.
During the enforcement of the exclusionary rule, it should not be invoked in a situation where it will jeopardize the society’s trust in the judicial system. The benefits to society should be given an upper hand as compared to enforcing the exclusionary rule. To ensure the greatest gain from the exclusionary rule, the balance maintained in implementing it should be inclined towards the greatest need for a sane and sensible society.