Inthe law of evidence, not all evidence presented in court isadmissible even though it points to facts material to the case.There is the principle that evidence obtained through illegal, unfairor improper ways cannot be admitted. This rule is the exclusionaryrule. I shall discuss this rule and the exceptions to the rule inthis essay.
Incriminal cases, a suspect may site inadmissibility of evidence underthe exclusionary rule. He might do so if the evidence was obtainedthrough an illegal search. The law protects every citizen againstinvasion of privacy. Any time a police officer needs to search aperson or their premises, they must first obtain a search warrant.
InWeeksv.UnitedStates,232U.S.383,a federal agent obtained evidence without a search warrant. Thisevidence was used in the trial that led to the conviction of Weeks.The sentence was quashed as the evidence had been obtained illegally.
Anyevidence acquired as a result of a search without a warrant is notadmissible. Consequently, any evidence obtained as an indirectconsequence of the search or seizure is also not admissible asevidence. This doctrine is known as the fruits of the poisonous treedoctrine (Keane,2012).
Thereare, nevertheless, three exceptions to this rule:
When a search is done in good faith
When the discovery was inevitable
When there was an independent source of information.
Whileconducting searches without a warrant, a police officer discoversCannabis in one of the resident’s house (Peter). Under theexclusionary rule, the drugs cannot be used as evidence against Peterin trial as it was illegally obtained.
Asearch warrant allows the search of Jayne’s premises, but thepolice officer misreads it for Jane. During the search, the officerseizes stolen goods from the premises. Even though, the searchwarrant did not indicate Jane’s house, the evidence obtained isadmissible as it was obtained in good faith.
Keane,A., McKeown, P. (2012). TheModern Law of Evidence(ninth ed.). Croydon: Oxford University Press,.
TheExclusionary Rule. (n.d.). NationalParalegal College.Retrieved October 2, 2014 from http://nationalparalegal.edu/conlawrimproc_public/ProtectionFromSearhes&Seizu res/ExclusionaryRule.asap