The Effects of the Exclusionary Rule
In 1787, the Constitution was established in order to set forth and establish the government. Later in 1791 the states called for further Constitutional protections which caused the first 10 amendments to the Constitution known as the Bill of Rights to be established. The Bill of Rights dictated the basic rights afforded to all American citizens. Over the years legal professionals have argued and attempted to manipulate the exact meaning of each of the amendments. One amendment that has created issues for law enforcement is the Fourth Amendment which provides protection against unreasonable searches and seizures and requires a judicial warrant be supported by probable cause. This amendment has numerous problems with its interpretation and has had several exceptions added to it.
In 1961, a landmark case Mapp v. Ohio brought further interpretation of the Fourth Amendment. On May 23, 1957, police officers acting on information that a suspect in a bombing case and illegal betting equipment could be found in the residence of Dollree Mapp. The officers then went to the Mapp residence and demanded entrance. Mapp requested to see their warrant to search the house, which they did not have. After watching the house for several hours the police forced their way into the residence waving a piece of paper claiming it was their search warrant. The detectives were frustrated because Mapp refused to co-operate with them and were determined to find any prosecutable evidence in the house. During the search police officers found pornographic materials in a trunk. Mapp was arrested and charged for violation of obscene material laws which was a felony. This case continued through the appeals courts process ultimately going before the U.S. Supreme Court. The decision of the Supreme Court found all evidence found during the illegal search could not be admissible in state criminal proceedings. (CaseBriefs, n.d.)
During this time period it was not too uncommon for police officers to use their authority to intimidate citizens, particularly African-Americans into compliance. Fortunately Dollree Mapp was somewhat educated with the law and the procedures law enforcement needed...