The Exclusionary Rule Remedy
A. The Operation of the Exclusionary Rule
The exclusionary rule was adopted as the constitutionally required remedy for a Fourth Amendment violation in the federal courts in 1914, and imposed upon the state courts in 1961 through its incorporation into Due Process. A criminal defendant invokes the rule by filing a pre-trial motion to suppress evidence, and if the motion is granted, the evidence may not be admitted.
B. The Good Faith Exception
In 1984 a “good faith exception” was recognized to allow evidence to be admitted when seized pursuant to the execution of most warrants. Even if a trial or appellate court judge believes that the magistrate issued the warrant in error upon an insufficient showing of probable cause, that judge should allow a police officer to rely on the warrant “in good faith,” unless suppression of the evidence is appropriate because:
There are false facts in the affidavit which are necessary for the showing of probable cause, and the defendant satisfies the requirements of Franks v. Delaware for proving the affiant’s reckless disregard of the falsity.
The issuing magistrate abandoned his or her judicial role of neutrality.
The police submitted a “bare bones” affidavit that is so lacking in indicia of probable cause that no officer could reasonably rely on it.
The warrant was facially deficient with regard to the particularity requirements of the Fourth Amendment.