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Constitution and Criminal Procedure: First Principles

NCJ Number
A R Amar
Date Published
281 pages
Under the banners of the fourth, fifth, and sixth amendments, courts have constitutionalized a vast amount of criminal procedure law in ways that often reward the guilty while hurting the innocent.
The author examines the role of search warrants, the status of the exclusionary rule, self-incrimination theory and practice, and a host of sixth amendment trial-related rights. Through a close and original analysis of constitutional text, history, structure, and precedent, he challenges conventional wisdom on a broad range of topics. He argues that the exclusion of reliable evidence in criminal trials is wrong in principle and in practice, and that unlawfully seized evidence and fruits of immunized testimony should be constitutionally admissible in criminal trials. The author recommends that deterrence of government misconduct should generally occur through civil damage suits and administrative sanctions rather than through criminal exclusion. An appendix contains supplemental information on jury reform. Notes