The Exclusionary Rule and its Exceptions Term Paper by Nicky

An overview of the exclusionary rule and the controversy surrounding its implementation.
# 151328 | 1,896 words | 7 sources | MLA | 2012 | US
Published on May 31, 2012 in Law (General)

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The paper explains how the exclusionary rule is supposed to function as a deterrent to illegal government activity, to ensure that any evidence obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment cannot be used in a prosecution. The paper looks at precedent setting cases of "Weeks v. United States", "Mapp v. Ohio", "United States v. Leon" and "Arizona v. Evans" to highlight the exclusionary rule and its exceptions. The paper addresses the controversy surrounding the exclusionary rule and presents this writer's opinion that the current exclusionary rule strikes the best balance between respecting individual Fourth Amendment rights and protecting the public.

From the Paper:

"In Mapp, the police went to defendant Mapp's home to ask her questions about a bombing. The officers demanded entrance into Mapp's home, but, after contacting her attorney, Mapp refused to allow them entry without a warrant. The officers handcuffed Mapp and then searched her home. While they did not find any evidence linking Mapp to the bombing, they did find obscene material. Mapp was convicted of violating obscenity laws. The Supreme Court overturned Mapp's conviction. The Court determined that the Fourteenth Amendment extended the Fourth Amendment to state actions, therefore, the exclusionary rule applied to state criminal proceedings.
"The practical effect of Mapp and Weeks is that "a defendant's claim of unreasonable search and seizure has become a matter of course in most criminal prosecutions." (Exclusionary Rule). When a defendant alleges that he has been the victim of an illegal search or seizure, the trial court general hears that evidence in a suppression hearing before the trial, to determine the admissibility of the evidence. Some evidence that is seized in violation of the Fourth Amendment is still admissible, because of exceptions to the exclusionary rule. Therefore, a suppression hearing can determine which evidence will be admitted and what must be excluded from a defendant's trial."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Arizona v. Evans, 514 U.S. 1 (1995),
  • "Exclusionary Rule." West's Encyclopedia of American Law. The Gale Group, Inc, 1998. 02 Nov. 2009 <>.
  • "Enforcing the Fourth Amendment: the exclusionary rule." U.S. Constitution: Fourth Amendment. Thomas Reuters, 2009. Findlaw 02 Nov. 2009 <>.
  • Mapp v. Ohio, 367 U.S. 643 (1961).
  • United States v. Leon, 468 U.S. 897, 104 S. Ct. 3405 (1984).

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The Exclusionary Rule and its Exceptions (2012, May 31) Retrieved February 28, 2021, from

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