Report No. 94
7.22. A recent discussion about the U.S.A.-
Some of the key issues and considerations in the growing debate about the exclusionary rule, in the context of search and seizure, have been examined in a recent article in the Anglo-American Law Review.1 The article concludes that the U.S. Supreme Court would be unwise to abolish the exclusionary rule. It is pointed out that even if the exclusionary rule does not protect the integrity of the judiciary in the eyes of the public, it does support the credibility of the court and the law in the mind of police officers. Moreover, according to the article, there is good reason to believe, that the exclusionary rule does not allow criminals to go free as much as would be the case if direct sanctions were applied.
At the same time, the article demonstrates that the exclusion of evidence obtained in violation of the Constitution acts as a reasonable deterrent to illegal police searches. While scholars have expressed doubts about the propriety of the rule, according to the article, the police would not understand, or respect, a court which would reverse itself on a matter which appears to be so fundamental. American constitutional tradition is such that the police would have difficulty in believing that any civilized Government would like to profit by a violation of the law.
1. Loewenthal Evaluating the Exclusionary Rule in Search and Seizure, (1980), Vol. 9, No. 3, Anglo-American Law Review, pp. 238-256.