View random article

What Is the Exclusionary Rule?

There are instances wherein evidence that has been collected through illegal or unreasonable means cannot be considered in court. Such evidence becomes inadmissible in a court of law since it has been obtained through methods that have not been sanctioned by the court or by laws. Thus, the exclusionary rule provides that such evidence is excluded from being entered and recorded into a court trial. This evidence is also commonly known as the fruit of the poison tree.

It has been noted that the exclusionary rule may have originated from the Fifth Amendment of the US Constitution, which emphasizes due process of the law and prevention of self-incrimination, as well as the Fourth Amendment that prevents illegal searches and seizures. The Sixth Amendment is also protected by the exclusionary rule in that any individual has the right to legal counsel.

The main issue that the exclusionary rule addresses is the method in which evidence was collected. Thus, it does not matter if the evidence completely proves a litigant to be innocent or guilty. As long as the evidence was obtained in an illegal manner, it cannot be admissible in a court of law.

The exclusionary rule prevents many rights violations form occurring. Such violations include warrantless searches and seizures as well as forced or involuntary confessions, wiretapping, or any other method that has not been authorized by the courts or by law. However, exceptions to the exclusionary rule include civil cases, litigation involving grand juries, and litigation involving parole revocation.

Featured in Life