Exclusionary Rule Pros and Cons List
The exclusionary rule is a legal statute that says no evidence that was gathered illegally can be used as evidence in a court of law. The main reason that this rule was developed was to ensure police do not conduct an excessive amount of unlawful searches in order to obtain evidence for a case. It was an important rule that was put into effect in the early 1900′s to protect individual’s rights to a fair trial. While it has certainly done some good, there are still many critics of the exclusionary rule. In order to better understand, let’s take a close look at all of the pros and cons.
The Pros of the Exclusionary Rule
1. Helps Ensure Fair Trials
A fair and just trial is the main reason this rule is here today. It helps to make sure that a person cannot be searched for no reason, just for the purpose of a conviction under the officers belt.
2. Control Law Enforcement Misconduct
Since the appeal of unlawfully searching someone is gone, due to the exclusionary rule, the amount of unlawful searches have dropped drastically.
3. Can Be Helpful To Defendant
If a piece of evidence was obtained illegally, but is also incriminating, then the exclusionary rule is extremely beneficial to the defendants. This means that the evidence would not be put into the trial or considered any further. This is also viewed as a con by many people.
4. Protects The Innocent
If a person is innocent, but the law officer or someone else was trying to “frame” them or pin a crime on them, then the exclusionary rule would prevent any evidence that did not have a direct origin from being used in the case against the innocent person.
The Cons of the Exclusionary Rule
1. Grossly Misused
Many fully guilty people are let off the hook by using the exclusionary rule technicality. It prevents incriminating evidence from being presented, no matter how important it is, if obtained in a questionable way.
2. Not A Constitutional Right
Many people argue that the exclusionary rule should stay in place because it goes right along with our Constitutional rights, but this is very untrue. While it does go along the same lines of the fourth amendment, it only boosts it’s meaning and is not actually a part of it.
3. Causes Unnecessary Costs
Since the fear that their evidence may somehow be excluded from the trial, prosecutors are required to spend a large amount of time and money trying to gather as much evidence as possible. Even if just one piece would shut the case.