4 Objections Critics Have to the Exclusionary Rule in Criminal Cases—Part I

Magnifying Glass on Preamble to the Constitution of USACritics—they’re everywhere. Some people are so good at expressing their opinions that they turn it into a living and become professional critics. Others are just average Joe’s who express their concerns to improve and change things around them that aren’t up to par.

This is even true within the legal system. Every law that is put on the ballot has at least a handful of critics. These people, whether the greatest legal minds of a generation or average voters, feel they need to speak up because a law may not be as wonderful or beneficial as its supporters are touting. This has certainly been the case with the Exclusionary Rule.

What Is The Exclusionary Rule?

The Exclusionary Rule is an amendment to the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution. The Fourth Amendment limits the amount of power the police have to search people’s homes or arrest them. The problem with this, said critics, was that those arrested weren’t protected if the police gathered information in an unlawful manner. In 1914, the Exclusionary Rule was adopted, which states that evidence gathered without a warrant or in some other unlawful manner cannot be used against a defendant.

4 Objections the Critics Raise About the Exclusionary Rule

The Exclusionary Rule was adopted, first by the federal government and later by the states, to protect people from police misconduct. There are critics of the Exclusionary Rule, though, those who say it can be easily misused. They have four main objections. We will discuss two today and two more in a later post.

  1. Guilty Criminals Go Free. Those who are guilty of a crime may get away with it if any evidence was gained through illegal means. This doesn’t necessarily mean that law enforcement officers knowingly did something illegal. It could be that a simple mistake was made. Because of such an error a criminal could get away with a crime because, according to the law, their Fourth Amendment right was violated.
  2. Innocent People Aren’t Always Protected. It is unfortunate, but there have been occasions when police officers have violated a person’s Fourth Amendment right because of racism or some other prejudice. The Exclusionary Rule doesn’t require such officers to be personally liable in such instances. Instead, this rule simply states that any evidence found under these circumstances is not allowed to be used against the accused. If the person is innocent, there is no course of retribution to be taken against those who violated their rights.

Letting the Law Work for You—Finding the Right Attorney

If you’ve been arrested, you need an attorney on your side. An attorney who is well-versed in criminal law, such as those at the law office of John C. Fitzpatrick, will ensure you receive a fair trial. They know what to look for when investigating your case and can determine if any of your rights have been violated. Such an attorney can help get your sentence reduced or your conviction overturned. Call our office today for more information.