The Exclusionary Rule and The Good Faith Exception

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The Exclusionary Rule and its Impact on Law Enforcement

The exclusionary rule does hinder law enforcement officers from doing their job. Evidence gathered when the fourth amendment is violated is inadmissible in court proceedings. Although this rule has a few exceptions which is in favor of the officers conducting warrantless searches and seizures, it still has its downsides. A police officer may have a lead in obtaining evidence but would not be in a position if he has no warrant to do so. A guilty defendant may walk free because the evidence produced in court was obtained illegally and officers who have violated individual rights often go unpunished (G.Paulsen, 1961). As much as the exclusionary rule protects accused persons, it hinders justice from being delivered.

The Good Faith Exception to the Exclusionary Rule

The Good Faith Exception to the exclusionary rule is not unfair to the accused. An officer may conduct a search with a warrant that may later be found out to be invalid (Fourth Amendment, 2017). The evidence obtained illegally at first is admissible if the same piece of evidence would have been later obtained legally. If the evidence obtained during a warrantless search may be found to be effective in convicting the accused then it is not wrongful. Consider evidence obtained in a search with the issuance of the warrant was not appropriate. The accused rights may seem to have been violated but the same evidence would have been found if the warrant was valid.

The Importance of Ethical Conduct by Police Officers

The fourth amendment would not be necessary if the police conducted themselves in an ethical manner. If the officers were orderly and respectful in conducting searches then suspects in an investigation would not be in fear of his rights being violated. Them obtaining search warrants would ensure the whole process of evidence gathering and making arrests run smoothly. In most cases, individuals cooperate when they have been issued with a search warrant.


 Fourth Amendment. (2017, June). Retrieved from Cornell Law School:

G.Paulsen, M. (1961). The Exclusionary Rule and Misconduct by the Police. Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology.

December 12, 2023

Crime Law

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