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What is the rationale behind the 3 justifications for the exclusionary rule, and...

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kc76384 | Valedictorian

Posted September 23, 2012 at 7:17 AM via web

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What is the rationale behind the 3 justifications for the exclusionary rule, and which justification did  U S Supreme Court adopt to apply the deterrence justification?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 23, 2012 at 12:05 PM (Answer #1)

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There have been two major justifications for the exclusionary rule during the time that it has existed.

First, courts have justified the rule by saying that it is necessary to uphold the 4th Amendment.  This justification was first presented by the Supreme Court in Weeks v. US in 1914.  In this justification, the rationale is that people have a constitutional right to be free of illegal searches and seizures.  The exclusionary rule is the way to enforce this right.

More recently, a different justification has arisen.  This is the deterrence justification.  It says that the purpose of the exclusionary rule is to deter police misconduct.  The rationale here is that police will not conduct illegal searches or seizures if they cannot get any benefit from that action.  If the illegal acts do not help them gain convictions, they will not commit those acts.  This is a more utilitarian justification while the previous justification makes the exclusionary rule an integral part of the 4th Amendment.

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