Essay Sample on Criminal Law: Exclusionary Rules

Published: 2023-08-23
Essay Sample on Criminal Law: Exclusionary Rules
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Criminal law Forensic science Court system Constitution
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1537 words
13 min read

The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of the U.S. protects people’s rights to be unrestricted from searches and seizures that are considered unreasonable. As the Fourth Amendment’s language does not allow unjustified searches and seizures, an instrument for deterrence or a remedy is not provided by it in case such activities occur (Jackson, 1995). The means to the enforcement of the Fourth Amendment is provided by exclusionary rule whereby it commands that where proof has been acquired by violating the search and seizure protections. The Constitution of the United States guarantees that proof that is attained illegally should not be used at a defendant's trial.

Trust banner

Is your time best spent reading someone else’s essay? Get a 100% original essay FROM A CERTIFIED WRITER!

Exceptions to the Exclusionary Rule

The United States Supreme Court has continually shaped out exclusions to the exclusionary rule since Mapp by steadily disregarding all but the deterrence justification for the rule. The following exceptions are in existence, such as impeachment, good faith, independent source, rule attenuation, inevitable discovery, and the harmless error exception (Jackson, 1995).

The Impeachment exception

The Supreme Court established this exception to allow the Government to provide the evidence that is seized illegally on the interrogation of a criminal defendant for impeaching a defendant that has directly perjured herself (Jackson, 1995). In various court decisions, the Court held that a criminal defendant. In contrast, the criminal defendant possesses the Constitutional right of testifying on his or her defense, does not have a right to commit perjury.

The Independent Source Exception

The exception investigates whether the discovery of the proof was through the manipulation of the Fourth Amendment desecration or via an independent source satisfactorily distinct to be purged of the original taint. If the proof is not attained directly from the desecration, it is freed from the original violation taint (Jackson, 1995).

The Inevitable Discovery Exception

It allows the admission of evidence that was seized illegally that would have unavoidably been revealed via legal means. According to the Nix v.Williams Court hearing in 1984, a conclusion was reached that exclusion of illegal evidence that was discovered inevitably undermined the deterrent rationale of the exclusionary rule (Jackson, 1995). In a situation like this, the interest of the society in finding truth in judicial trials outweighs any possible deterrent effects.

The Harmless Error Exception

The primary focus of the exception heavily relies on facts in determining the guilt instead of relying on the peripheral and immaterial issues. Hence, when evidence that is admitted violates the Fourth Amendment, it is subjected to the “harmless error” doctrine (Jackson, 1995). The doctrine states that a conviction shall stand when an admission of the obtained evidence violates the Constitution and is harmless beyond a reasonable doubt.

Druggists Fold

Druggists fold a type of packaging that makes use of a small piece of paper such as the items inside do not fall out. It can be used for the storage of a small amount of dry evidence such as hair, fibers, and powders, which may leak from other types of packaging (Siegel, 2007). Druggist fold starts with a small piece of paper of any size. The paper is then folded lengthwise into three thirds such that it has an inner section and an outer section. The first third is folded over the middle section, and the other one third is folded over the same middle section. One should make sure that the sheet of paper is previously unused to prevent evidence contamination.

Unfold the paper and fold it widthwise into thirds in a process similar to the first one. The article is then unfolded, and the evidence is placed at the square center section. One should then proceed to fold the top side of the paper over the middle section and the bottom side of the paper over the middle section. Then take one of the remaining parts and fold it into a point so that it can be easier to insert into the opposite end. Fold the other end of the paper into the middle section and fold the other end (with the pointed part) into the middle section. Make sure to insert the sharp section into the outermost opening of the straight end. One should seal it with a little tape and label it, including the chain of custody (Yeshion & Bertino, 2017). The fold can then be placed into a larger container, such as an envelope.

The druggist’s fold has been adapted by crime scene investigators (CSI) for packaging trace evidence because it is a cost-efficient way of creating a closed container that prevents the evidence from falling out. According to Yeshion & Bertino (2017), other types of packaging, such as paper bags and envelopes, are not leakproof. Another reason why CSI has opted to adopt the druggist fold for packaging of evidence is that it allows for ease of labeling. The forensics expert only needs to carry a pen with him or her to enable them to label the evidence.

Trace Evidence Stuck on Object

Trace evidence is an essential part of the investigation as it can provide clues to finding the perpetrators of the crime. In some cases, trace evidence can be challenging to collect because it is attached to another object. In such a case, the investigator has a few options that they will have to consider concerning collecting the trace evidence.

The first one is for the investigator to assess if the piece of trace evidence can be removed from or detached from the other object without damaging the piece of evidence. If dislodging the trace evidence possesses, the risk of damaging it, the trace evidence together with the more bulky item can be collected and taken to the lab in one piece. That usually applies in the case of movable objects such as furniture, or even clothing.

However, in some instances, the object to which the trace evidence is attached to may be too large to move. For example, a tree cannot be uprooted or chopped down for the sole purpose of collecting trace evidence from it. A tree is an immovable object. Another reason that may prevent the moving of both objects is if the act of moving both objects posses a risk of tampering with the trace evidence. In such a situation, the trace evidence will have to be analyzed on-site. The forensics lab equipment will have to be brought to the site of the alleged crime so that the investigators can deduce as much data as they can from the trace evidence while still attached to the object.

Considerations When a Vehicle is Involved

There are some cases where a motor vehicle, boat, or aircraft is involved in the case. In such instances, the CSI should take the following considerations while trying to solve the case. The first one is a motor vehicle, boat, or aircraft manufacturer. Cars are unique to a specific manufacturer, and that helps with the tracing of the vehicle. It can also help with the matching of particular parts to particular vehicles, which are either without the part or have sought a replacement for the specific components (Dutelle, 2014). It also makes it easier for the CSI to narrow down on a particular vehicle, boat, or aircraft.

Another consideration for the CSI is the model of the motor vehicle, boat, or aircraft. Manufacturers produce different models of vehicles, and knowing the motor vehicle’s exact model of the motor vehicle, boat, or plane will be necessary for proving the case. It is also essential for tracing of the motor vehicle, boat, or aircraft (Dutelle, 2014). The information on the car model can enable the CSI to narrow down on the number of cars that they are tracing.

The CSI should also consider the color of the car. Cases such a hit and run where there is paint transfer, the CSI will need to consider the color of the vehicle for purposes of matching the paint job with the one found on the scene of the crime. The paint can also enable the CSI to narrow down his or her search if they already have the manufacturer and the model of a motor vehicle, boat, or aircraft (Armstrong Forensic. (, 2016).

The registration number is the final piece of the puzzle for the CSI to consider when a motor vehicle, boat, or aircraft is involved. Each type of vehicle has a unique registration that makes it unique to that specific motor vehicle, boat, or airplane. These registration numbers can be used to obtain information about the suspect’s vehicle insurance information that is contained in the vehicle registry database (Armstrong Forensic, 2016). The vehicle registration number is the piece that can enable the CSI to match the exact motor car, boat, or aircraft to the scene of the crime.


Armstrong Forensic. (2016, June 2). Paint Transfer – Hit and Run. Retrieved June 5, 2020, from

Dutelle, A. W. (2014). An introduction to crime scene investigation. Jones & Bartlett Publishers.

Jackson, H. A. (1995). Arizona v. Evans: expanding exclusionary rule exceptions and contracting Fourth Amendment protection. J. Crim. L. & Criminology, 86, 1201.

Siegel, A. J. (2007). Forensic science: The basics (2nd Ed). Taylor & Francis Group

Yeshion, T., & Bertino, A. (2017, Spring). Using origami to learn forensics. The Forensic Teacher Magazine, 10(30), 48–50.

Cite this page

Essay Sample on Criminal Law: Exclusionary Rules. (2023, Aug 23). Retrieved from

Request Removal

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the SpeedyPaper website, please click below to request its removal:

Liked this essay sample but need an original one?

Hire a professional with VAST experience!

24/7 online support

NO plagiarism