U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Exclusionary Rule in Criminal Trials - Oversight Hearings Before the House Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, March 10 and April 20, 1983

NCJ Number
Date Published
241 pages
These oversight hearings before the House Subcommittee on Criminal Justice examine the operation of the exclusionary rule as an enforcement mechanism for the fourth amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures.
Testimony and prepared statements examine the rule's costs and benefits to society. Issues considered include the effects of the rule on law enforcement efforts and police misconduct, the extent to which suppression motions lead to the dismissal of cases against guilty defendants, and the nature of cases in which the rule is at issue. The rule's deterrence of police misconduct and enhancement of police concern for the constitutional rights of citizens is discussed, as are other purposes served by the rule. Alternative methods of enforcing fourth amendment rights and their effectiveness are considered. Also discussed are the costs and benefits of modifying the rule to allow for good faith, reasonable mistakes of law and fact. Finally, whether the exclusionary rule is a proper subject for legislation, or whether it is a constitutionally mandated rule to be changed only by the courts or constitutional amendment, is considered. The majority of the testimony supports the exclusionary rule as a necessary protection against the invasion of privacy.