The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution states the various provisions under which a security officer can or cannot search a person or investigate into his property. These rules are created to protect the privacy of every citizen. It also prevents the police and government officials from conducting unlawful searches and creating fake evidences. The Exclusionary rule pros and cons and its impacts are discussed below.
The right to privacy of every citizen and foreign national has been enshrined in the Constitution of every democracy and the United States is no different. Every citizen reserves the right to be secure from searches to his house and person by any public authority and others without a warrant recognizing the same. The Fourth Amendment also states that no warrant may be issued without reasonable cause.
Fruit of the Poisonous Tree
This doctrine states that evidence that is obtained illegally should be excluded from court. It further states that evidence collected with the help of the same should be excluded from the court’s proceedings. The evidence was not collected following proper procedure is considered as the poisonous tree; and the evidences that the tree produces are the fruits of the poisonous tree and both are unwelcome in a court of law.
The Purge Taint Doctrine
A person may produce illegal evidence without being aware of the fact that it was an illegal. In such cases, the person can eliminate the taint of having illegally obtained evidence by producing new evidence that is valid. The new evidence should not be part of the poisonous tree.
Officers have often complained that the time taken to secure a warrant is too long and an accused could easily lose evidence in that time. This is one of the most contentious statements against this rule.
Regardless of the exclusionary rule pros and cons, there are certain exceptions that should be considered. The most important among these is the “good faith exception” which states that even if an officer relies on a search warrant in good faith and later realizes that the warrant lacked probable cause, the evidence can still be produced in court.
The “plain view” doctrine states that if a police officer happens to come across substantial evidence in plain view, he can seize it without a warrant and present it in court. The “inevitable discovery doctrine” states that illegally seized evidence can be considered if it would have been seized in a regular police investigation also.
The Exclusionary rule allows citizens to be secure from illegally being framed for criminal cases. A number of unlawful detentions have been prevented following the introduction of this rule.