Exclusionary Rule: How, When, and Why Was it Established? Essay examples

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The Fourth Amendment is the basis for several cherished rights in the United States, and the right to the freedom of unreasonable searches and seizures is among them. Therefore, it would seem illegitimate- even anti-American for any law enforcement agent to search and seize evidence unlawfully or for any court to charge the defendant with a guilty verdict established on illegally attained evidence. One can only imagine how many people would have been sitting in our jails and prisons were it not for the introduction of the exclusionary rule. The Exclusionary Rule is a law passed by the United States Supreme Court. It demands that “any evidence obtained by police using methods that violate a person’s constitutional rights be excluded …show more content…

The defendant, Fremont Weeks, was convicted of using the mail system to allocate chances in lottery [considered gambling in Missouri] which was unlawful. The federal agents had searched the defendant’s house and seized evidence more than once without consent or a warrant (Weeks v. United States, 232 U.S. 383, 1914). Thirty-five years later after Weeks’ case, the Supreme Court in Wolf v. Colorado (1949) held that the 4th Amendment protection applies to searches by state officials and federal agents. However, the exclusionary rule generated in Weeks’ case did not apply to the states. The appellant, Julius A. Wolf, was convicted of treachery to commit abortions in Colorado and police officers had attained evidence used against him without a warrant or consent. State judges were not required to disregard evidence obtained in desecration of the 4th Amendment in states’ criminal prosecutions. In this case, the Supreme Court applied the 4th Amendment to the states through the 14th Amendment Due Process Clause. Wolf’s verdict was upheld (Wolf v. Colorado, 338 U.S. 25, 1949). The Supreme Court left the states to enforce the 4th Amendment protection. It resulted in the abused power and the court had to intervene (Holten &Lamar, 1991). Leaving states to find ways to protect their citizen’s 4th amendment as they try to control criminal activities in their jurisdictions proved to be a failure. Hence, in Mapp v. Ohio case in 1961, the Court applied the

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