What is the exclusionary rule? The ‘exclusionary rule’ is a legal principle that prohibits any illegally obtained evidence from being used in a criminal trial. The main intent of designing the exclusionary rule was to protect the people’s rights. However, a major drawback of this rule that we often forget is that it allows even a criminal to walk free only because of the way in which the evidence was obtained.
For instance, if a young man is killed and the killer stores the weapon along with the items stolen from the victim at his house. However, if the police cease these evidences based on a hunch or on a tip off, without obtaining a search warrant, then according to this rule, these evidences will not be permitted for use in trial. Because of the way in which the police officers obtained the evidence, the defendant can make use of the exclusionary rule to make all the evidence non-existent. He will not be charged and will be released.
It is in such situations that the exclusionary rule becomes outrageous. Here the truth is not accepted as the truth, simply because of the means by which the evidence was obtained was not in accordance with the law. Prohibiting obvious proof of a crime in a criminal prosecution makes no sense at all, as it lets a criminal walk away without being punished.
An argument for the exclusionary rule is that the lack of a rule such as the exclusionary rule exposes citizens to illegal searches. It is not possible to protect these rights without the exclusionary rule in place. A simple solution to this problem is that individuals who violate such rights should immediately be held responsible for their actions and awarded appropriate punishments. Withholding the truth or punishing the public is not how violators should be punished. Imprisoning a few corrupt officers should be enough to deter other officers from committing similar crimes in the future.
Presently, if it can be proved that the evidence was collected illegally, the criminal walks away while at the same time the officer is suspended. If the evidence can prove that the defendant is guilty, then the criminal should be sent to jail, irrespective of whether the evidence was obtained legally or illegally. To deter people in power from violating people’s rights, the lawbreaking officers should be sent to jail as well.
Those were some aspects of both sides of the coin called the exclusionary rule. For more information on what is the exclusionary rule, its pros and cons, refer online legal resources.Google+