What does the Supreme Court Court consider the primary purpose of the exclusionary rule? Under what circumstances will the courts not apply the exclusionary rule?
Discussion Board Guidelines:
Discuss the purpose and reasoning behind the exclusionary rule. Why did the Court implement this rule and why does it still exist today? Give an example, either hypothetical or from the headlines, of a time when the courts declined to use the exclusionary rule and discuss why the court made that decision. 250 words
THE FOURTH AMENDMENT
§ Limited government power is necessary for the laws of the
country to be enforced and the government’s business to be
§ A balance is required for democracy.
§ Terms fundamental to understanding the 4th Amendment.
The Importance of the 4th Amendment to Law
§ The 4th Amendment’s prohibition against unreasonable
searches and seizures by the police is perhaps the most
vital component of criminal procedure.
§ It has given ample opportunities to the U.S. Supreme Court
to set forth when any government agent may or may not
act, as well as when they have an expectation, or duty, to
Wolf v. Colorado , 338 U.S. 25 (1949)
§ Facts: Julius Wolf was convicted of conspiracy to perform criminal abortions. He
argued that evidence obtained in violation of his 4th Amendments rights should not
be used against him in trial. The Supreme Court of Colorado upheld his conviction,
and the use of the evidence.
§ Issue: Were the states required to exclude illegally seized evidence from trial under
the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments?
§ Holding: Yes and no. The Court held that even though the Fourth Amendment is
applicable to the states, the exclusionary rule is not necessarily a component of that
§ Rationale: Any government agent (federal, state or local) is regulated by the 4th
Amendment by way of the 14th. But the Court reasoned that while the exclusion of
evidence may have been an effective way to deter unreasonable searches, other
methods could be equally effective.
Who is Governed by the 4th Amendment?
§ Private individuals or agencies are not regulated by the 4th
§ The Constitution was established to limit the power of government
and its agents.
United States v. Parker , 32 F.3d 395 (8th Cir. 1994)
§ Facts: UPS opened a duffel bag insured for $4000, consistent with company policy,
and found $4000 in cash, then alerted the DEA, which found drugs. UPS delivered
the duffel under DEA operation and Parker was arrested at the address.
§ Issues: Did UPS violate the 4th Amendment?
§ Holding: No.
§ Rationale: UPS had no duty to secure a warrant as it was not a state actor.