The Constitutional law of the United States has several amendments that are intended to establish proper implementation of law and order. Out of these several amendments, there is one particular rule which calls for the public attention and debate. It’s the Exclusionary Rule. This rule can be found under the Fifth Amendment.
What is the exclusionary rule?
It states that no object may be produced in court if it is obtained illegally or without a proper search warrant. The evidence thus collected or analyzed in violation of the defendant’s constitutional rights is not taken into account for a criminal prosecution. This relates directly to the Fifth Amendment’s command that “no person shall be compelled to bear a witness against oneself” and that “no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law”.
What are its functions?
The Exclusionary Rule is intended to protect citizens from illegal police actions like searches and seizures. The rule protects civilians from unauthorized search and seizure. As the Exclusionary Rule is grounded to the Fourth Amendment which states that a warrant is required to conduct a proper search. This also protects civilians from the illegally gathered evidence which is clearly a violation of the Fifth Amendment in the Bill of Rights against to self-incrimination.
Arguments in favor and against
There are people who are in favor of this rule as well as against it. While there are arguments that it is unconstitutional and stands in the way of search for truth in criminal proceedings, many consider this rule as an effective measure to deter police misconduct. They believe that this rule can put a hold on police actions that can possibly violate an individual’s constitutional rights. So people who ask what is the exclusionary rule can have different opinions depending upon their individual perspective.
The defendends have to prove however that the evidence was obtained illegally. Furthermore, the judge can question the investigating officer on the merits of the evidence that has been presented. Sometimes, under exceptional circumstances, the judge can admit such evidences if it is clear that such evidence proves the culpability of the party.
More importantly this exclusionary rule is applicable to all individuals within the United States, irrespective of whether they are citizens, immigrants or visitors.