The Champion

May 2012 , Page 7 

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In Praise of the Exclusionary Rule (Inside NACDL)

By Norman L. Reimer

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I was recently asked this question: Is the exclusionary rule needed to deter illegal police searches? Reams have been written pro and con on the inherent value of the exclusionary rule. Indeed, as far back as the early 20th century, a little more than a decade after the rule emerged in American jurisprudence, Benjamin Cardozo noted that the exclusionary rule had been the subject of so much debate that “little of value can be added.”1 But as circumstances evolve and the government’s technological capacity to snoop, search and seize increases, it is important to revisit the question of whether the rule serves as a deterrent to lawless behavior. For if ever there was a time when Americans need an effective bulwark against governmental overreaching and oppression, it is now.

To support the view that exclusion is a deterrent, it is useful to take a look at developments since the Supreme Court decided a case that was the focus of an earlier Inside NACDL column.2 The Supreme Co

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