Pros and Cons of the Exclusionary Rule

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ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT OF THE EXCLUSIONARY RULE Among the arguments in support of the exclusionary rule4 by its proponents are the following: 1. It deters violations of constitutional rights by police and prosecutors. A number of studies and testimonies by police officers support this contention. 2. It manifests society’s refusal to convict lawbreakers by relying on official lawlessness—a clear demonstration of our commitment to the rule of law that states that no person, not even a law enforcement official, is above the law. 3. It results in the freeing of the guilty in a relatively small proportion of cases. A 1978 study by the General Accounting Office found that, of 2,804 cases in which defendants were likely to file a motion to…show more content…
Among the proposals are the following: _ An independent review board in the executive branch. This proposal envisions a review board composed of nonpolice personnel to review allegations of violations of constitutional rights by the police. The problem with this alternative is that police oppose it because it singles them out among public officials for differential treatment. Moreover, outsiders are viewed by the police as unlikely to be able to understand the difficulties and dangers inherent in police work. _ A civil tort action against the government. This would mean filing an action seeking damages from the government for acts of its officers. It poses real difficulty for the plaintiff, who would have to shoulder the financial cost of the litigation. Most defendants do not have the resources to finance a civil case, particularly after a criminal trial. Low damages awards against police officers usually discourage the filing of civil tort actions except in egregious cases. _ A hearing separate from the main criminal trial but before the same judge or jury. The purpose of the hearing is to determine if, in fact, the officer behaved illegally in obtaining the evidence used during the trial and, if so, to impose the necessary sanctions on the officer. Although this is the least expensive and most expedient alternative, its effectiveness is questionable. If the violation is slight, the
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