United States v. Leon, 468 U.S. 897 (1984)
The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution assures the citizens of the United States of their liberty, privacy, and property. This amendment shields the public from the infringement of these rights by both corporate, individuals, and the government. The government has gained notoriety in infringing the rights of its citizens. The tenet of Due process requires that evidence be gathered according to the laid down rules and regulations. Admittance of evidence that has been gathered by illegal search and seizure is prohibited and opposed by the exclusionary rule. The essay that follows discusses various aspects covered by the exclusionary rule.
Part 1: Summary of the Case
The case before the U.S District Court in Atlanta Georgia pitted the United States V. Jacques Degaule. The court was told how investigators instituted investigations for drug trafficking against the accused person. The investigators obtained court orders to intercept telephone communications between the accused person and his suspected clients and suppliers. There were several applications made to the court for the institution of investigations that included wiretaps. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) special agents filled affidavits with the court at each stage of their investigations “Constitutional remedies, the fourth Amendment, and the Exclusionary rule (n.d)”.
Later on, the court issued a warrant to the agents allowing them to raid, search, and seize a list of items suspected to be connected to a drugs syndicate. The accused person moved to court to request the suppression of the evidence collected in the search and wiretaps. Jacques argues that his constitutional rights of privacy, liberty, and property were infringed upon by the DEA agents’ actions. The court granted the motion in part arguing that the Fourth Amendment exclusionary rule must apply in this case “Constitutional remedies, the fourth Amendment, and the Exclusionary rule (n.d)”.
Part 2: Opinion on the ruling
The ruling was fair as it ruled in favour of the investigators. The investigators followed due process and obtained all evidence according to the laid down standards and procedures of gathering evidence. They furnished the magistrate with accurate affidavit for each application of warrants and orders to institute wiretaps against the accused person. I support the ruling because it proved that criminals could no longer hide behind the provisions of the Fourth Amendments to further their illegal activities.
Part 3: The use of the exclusionary rule by the U.S. Supreme Court
The U.S. Supreme Court did well by reversing the Court of Appeals decision to suppress evidence gathered by the DEA agents. The Supreme Court justices meticulously outlined how they believed that the DEA agents followed due process in gathering the evidences adduced in the trial court (Maclin, 2013). The Supreme Court judges held that the exclusionary rule should not be used by criminals to evade the long arm of the justice system.
Part 4: Opinion on Exclusionary rule as a legal right
If I were a scholar, I would advocate for the promotion of the exclusionary rule to a legal rights status. This rule is aimed at protecting the rights of the accused persons by ensuring that the arresting officers follow due process. The rule is important because it also affords protection against the infringement of the accused person’s rights to property, privacy, and liberty as outlined in the Fourth Amendment (Schultz, 2009). However, Judges determining the admissibility of evidence in courts should be vigilant and go an extra mile in ensuring that half-baked suppression injunctions are rejected and that no criminal evades the justice system.
“Constitutional remedies, the fourth Amendment, and the Exclusionary rule (n.d)”. Chapter 2: Constitutional remedies, the fourth Amendment, and the Exclusionary rule. [Attached pdf]
Maclin, T. (2013). The Supreme Court and the Fourth Amendment’s exclusionary rule. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Schultz, D. A. (2009). Encyclopedia of the United States Constitution. New York: Facts On File.