Constitutional Law

The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects the privacy interest of citizens from unlawful governmental intrusion or unreasonable search and seizure by the government and accomplishes this by barring any evidence obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment's protection from use at trial.
THE FOURTH AMENDMENT to the U.S. Constitution reads: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, house, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” Like other amendments that constitute the Bill of Rights, it was written and ratified to protect the citizenry against overweening government, but none of those amendments is self-enforcing.
Much of the debate surrounding the enforcement of the Fourth Amendment has focused on the so-called exclusionary rule–on whether it is wise or constitutionally necessary. Under that rule, evidence obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment is ordinarily inadmissible in a criminal trial. A quick example will illustrate how the rule operates. If a policeman got a tip that a particular person was a drug dealer, the officer might launch an investigation to determine if the allegation was true. However, if he decided to break into the suspect’s home without a search warrant, his effort would be for naught. Even if the officer found drugs on the kitchen table, that evidence would be useless because the suspect’s attorney could demand that the trial judge bar its admission as being illegally obtained. Without that evidence, prosecutors would be unable to prove a crime had occurred.
Conservatives often oppose the exclusionary rule as not grounded in the Constitution, not a deterrent to police misconduct, and not helpful in the search for truth in crimina…

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