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Policy Statements- The Exclusionary Rule

The rule requiring exclusion from judicial proceedings of evidence illegally seized by the police is an integral part of the Fourth Amendment. The exclusionary rule serves the vitally important function of deterring governmental agents and police from lawless conduct violative of the right of personal security and privacy which the Fourth Amendment grants to every person within the jurisdiction of the United States or of the individual states. Moreover, the exclusionary rule engenders confidence in government by preventing the courts from becoming participants in wilful disobedience of the Constitution. Without the exclusionary rule the great mandate of the Fourth Amendment would have little value or meaning and limited importance to the maintenance of a free society.

drafted by Clyde Blackmon

FORUM, SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 1987, VOLUME 14, NO. 5

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