The 4th Amendment prevents the federal government from searching unreasonably but did not include a remedy. In Weeks v. U.S., the Supreme Court decided that the evidence that was unlawfully obtained must be excluded in any trial against the aggrieved defendant. The justices determined that the 4th Amendment, despite the absence of specific language, was meaningless unless the evidence was suppressed. More recent cases have trended towards limiting, or some would say abolishing, this “Exclusionary Rule.”
Answer the following questions:
1) Should the Exclusionary Rule continue to be a Constitutional mandate of the 4th Amendment? What if the result is dismissal of charges against a clearly guilty defendant?
2) If the Exclusionary Rule is abolished by the Supreme Court, how should 4th Amendment violations be resolved? If we are no longer going to exclude reliable evidence of the defendant’s guilt that was obtained in violation of 4th Amendment protections, how do we hold law enforcement accountable?