One of the key principles controlling criminal investigation is the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, which balances the need for the government to find contraband to solve a crime with the rights of the individual to be protected from unreasonable searches and seizures. This lesson introduces you to one tool the court uses to achieve this balancing, known as the exclusionary rule. The exclusionary rule is a court-created rule that, when invoked, results in the suppression of otherwise admissible evidence based on improper police conduct.
One of the most common issues raised with the exclusionary rule involves failure to read Miranda warnings. Television and movies have certainly provided ample reinforcement for the idea that all citizens have a right to remain silent. Failure to give this warning can render a statement inadmissible under the exclusionary rule.
Please respond to all of the following prompts:
- Is it really necessary to continue giving Miranda rights warnings when everybody has heard of them?
- If a person has committed a heinous crime and the police failed to read Miranda warnings before they confess, is it too severe a remedy to allow a murderer to walk free because of the police conduct?
- Is there some other remedy that makes more sense?