When we look into the historical aspects of the exclusionary rule, we find that it dates back to the 1914 Weeks vs US trial. It basically revolves around the unauthorized or unofficial gathering of evidences. The law was first implemented in the Mapp vs Ohio case which was held in 1961. According to the rule, evidences gathered or accumulated without abiding by the legal formalities are regarded as unlawful. The law safeguards the interest of the people by preventing unauthorized seizure of an individual’s property or belongings. Many aspects of the Exclusionary Rule are borrowed from the 4th Amendment. However there are exceptions to the exclusionary rule, as explained below.
Benefits of the Exclusionary rule
The benefits of this rule are quite evident from its purpose. This can be better understood with the help of an example. Consider a robbery scenario. The individual whose property or belongings were stolen can file a petition to the police officials in order to probe into the incident. The police officials can initiate the investigation procedures after receiving the petition. If the officials suspect someone of committing the crime, they are allowed to carry out a search in the individual’s house or location. The search operation must be performed with an official search warrant, and these warrants are issued by the court. Search operations done without the search warrant are illegal, as mentioned above. The benefit of the Exclusionary rule, which prevents such searches, is that police officials cannot produce illegally gathered evidences before the court.
Drawbacks to this law
Justice Scalia’s findings, related to the Exclusionary law, are quite interesting. She holds that evidence must not be discarded for any reason. Any delay in the acquisition and application of the same, may help the guilty escape from the hands of the law. This will also help the the guilty party to extricate themselves from the punishment. Other problems like the following may arise:
- The trial process as a whole can be delayed due to the appeals and pleas made by the suspect.
- The defender, if guilty, may take this as an opportunity to hide the evidence.
The exceptions to the exclusionary rule revolve around the Good faith aspect. If the search operation was carried out in good faith , then the seizure will not be void in a court of law. For further information, refer to online legal resources.