Exclusionary Rule

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The Exclusionary Rule

One of the most controversial and historical rulings that the United States

Supreme Court has handed down was in 1961 Mapp v. Ohio ruling that extended "The Exclusionary Rule" to the States. Through the years, strong arguments for support, as well as for the criticism of this landmark decision have been made. Regardless of which side of the argument one finds their self, it is agreed that this decision has changed American justice and law enforcement procedure.

The exclusionary rule was developed by the United States Supreme Court

stating that any and all evidence that is obtained in violation of a citizen's constitutional rights by government and law enforcement officers or their agents, will be inadmissible in a criminal prosecution against the person whose rights were violated. The exclusionary rule prohibits introduction into evidence of any physical materials seized and testimony concerning the knowledge acquired during an unlawful search.

The rule prohibits testimony concerning knowledge acquired during an unlawful search. The exclusionary rule further prohibits the introduction of derivative evidence, that is the product of the primary evidence, or that is otherwise acquired as an indirect result of the unlawful search. The purpose of the exclusionary rule is to create a deterrence for law enforcement officers and other government officials from violating the constitutional rights of suspects by removing the incentive for obtaining illegally seized evidence. The rule does not apply to evidence obtained by persons not associated with or acting on behalf of government officials (Ferdico 76-77).

The exclusionary was first developed in 1914 in the case of Weeks v. United

States, though it was limited to a prohibition on the use of evidence illegally obtained by federal law enforcement officers (Schwartz 172-176).

In 1921, the case of Burdeau v. McDowell, a private citizen illegally...