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The Use of the Exclusionary Rule Essay (Article)

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Updated: Dec 25th, 2021

Introduction

The exclusionary rule from a legal point of view is the ruling that any evidence obtained through illegitimate means and not from circumstances that promote the prevalence of good faith among the parties involved; does not qualify to be presented in a criminal trial against the accused party. The technicality in the application of the rule and during the running of the proceedings is that the given evidence is “excluded” upon within any motion; which is to be used by the complainant or the lawyer against the defendant (Peak, 2009).

Main body

The exclusionary decree has its rations based on the constitutional stipulation that “…no individual can be rendered destitute of life, freedom, or possessions without the due progression of the law”. However, it should be noted that the incidence of any technical errors within the course of carrying out a warranted search in good faith does not qualify the defendant to plead for the exclusion of the evidence obtained under the given circumstances as per the provisions of the exclusionary rule. Further, the U.S Supreme Court ruled out that the evidence obtained using the force of a canceled warranty could be used in the proceedings against the defendant in the case the law enforcement personnel involved in the given case believed the warranty was still valid. However, under this stipulation, any proof revealed as a result of the search from some other illegally pursued action will be disqualified based on the “fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine”. An example here is the case where an illegal phone line tapping leads to the establishment of criminal evidence. This is the case as in such a circumstance, both the condition of tapping the line and the evidence recovered as a product of it are both excluded (Peak, 2009).

Advantages of the exclusionary decree

One of the advantages of the exclusionary decree is that it presents a means of instilling public norms and values into the process of legal dealings thus providing the prospect for the accused as a member of the public; towards obtaining a ruling they consider fit based on the valid application of legitimate criminal rulings during the procession of the explicit circumstances contributory to the trial (Clear, Cole & Reisiq, 2008).

This rule is further meant to ensure that the jury involved in carrying out the proceedings of a case provides a sympathetic fair hearing to any defendant who is not a part of any established interests group or the government; as opposed to the handling that would be presented to them by the representatives of the government (Clear, Cole & Reisiq, 2008).

The other advantage of the exclusionary rule is that it is meant to protect the privacy, integrity, and the right not to be searched unlawfully by the officers in charge of searching; in the pursuit of attaining the evidence to be used against the defendants in the case under question. Further, the exclusionary rule is meant to protect the civil and the constitutional rights of the accused in the course of law enforcement (Peak, 2009).

Disadvantages of the rule

Some other pros of this rule are that it seeks to eliminate to a large extent the degree of ethnic tension, impartiality and the personal biases that may be practiced by the jury in the course of ruling out the case. Further, this ruling is applicable in ensuring that statistics are not misused, misunderstood or the defendant wrongfully convicted (Peak, 2009).

On the other hand some of the cons of the rule are that it may be a source of limitation to the rulings arrived at during the proceedings of a case; especially one involving an issue that creates the need for the compulsion of the defendant in the case they do not admit to the charges pressed against them. Some of the sensitive cases under this case include those involving acts like an assault; where there may not be any solid evidence unless the defendant is found out when they least expect (Clear, Cole & Reisiq, 2008).

The other disadvantage of this rule is that it may be used by criminals in invalidating the legal evidence recovered from the search; despite its being binding based on the provisions of the law. An example here is the case involving Hudson v. Michigan who at first received a nullification of the recovered evidence despite the criminal implications of the evidence recovered (Peak, 2009).

Reference list

  1. Clear, T., Cole, G. & Reisiq, M. (2008). American corrections, 8th edition. Belmont: Wads worthy Publishers
  2. Peak, K. (2009).Justice Administration, 6th edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall Press.
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