Section 5.4: Criminal Procedural Remedies

Fundamentals of Procedural Law by Adam J. McKee

Welcome to our exploration of Criminal Procedural Remedies, the next critical juncture in our journey through the intricacies of procedural law. This chapter dives into a unique area of criminal law that intricately weaves constitutional protections into the fabric of criminal proceedings. We will scrutinize the legal tools that help maintain the integrity of the criminal justice system, most notably, the Exclusionary Rule and its intriguing offspring, the doctrine of the “Fruit of the Poisonous Tree.”

As we unfold the concept of the Exclusionary Rule, we will discover how it serves as a guardian of the Fourth Amendment—protecting us from unreasonable searches and seizures—by excluding unlawfully obtained evidence from criminal trials. This seminal rule isn’t just a punitive measure against law enforcement officers who breach their bounds; it’s an affirmation of the right to privacy—a cornerstone of a democratic society. Alongside the Exclusionary Rule, we will probe into the depths of the “Fruit of the Poisonous Tree” doctrine, which extends the exclusion to evidence indirectly obtained from an illegal search or seizure.

While these rules serve as bulwarks against state overreach, their application is not without limitations. Therefore, our exploration takes us to the realm of state laws and how these federal principles translate across varying state jurisdictions. Moreover, we will address certain scenarios when the Exclusionary Rule does not apply—learning about good faith exceptions, inevitable discovery, and independent source doctrine. Each of these nuances intricately fine-tunes the balance between individual rights and public safety.

We will further delve into the concept of ‘standing,’ which determines who can challenge the admissibility of evidence. This critical piece of the puzzle shapes the landscape of criminal defense, as not everyone can claim the protection of the Exclusionary Rule.

Our exploration will also take us through suppression hearings—a courtroom process where the admissibility of evidence is challenged—and we will grasp how the Exclusionary Rule and its associated doctrines play out in these high-stakes proceedings. We will address how these hearings can dramatically influence the course of a trial, and subsequently, a defendant’s fate.

Lastly, we’ll trace the path of the Exclusionary Rule and its associated doctrines through the appellate process, analyzing how errors in the application of the rule can be challenged and potentially reversed.

As we journey through this chapter, remember that these concepts, while complex, are fundamental to understanding the criminal justice system. They protect our constitutional rights and ensure that law enforcement practices remain just and fair. So, let’s embark on this journey to decode these fascinating aspects of procedural law.

Modification History

File Created:  08/06/2018

Last Modified:  07/24/2023

[ Back | Content | Next]

This work is licensed under an Open Educational Resource-Quality Master Source (OER-QMS) License.

Open Education Resource--Quality Master Source License

Print for Personal Use

You are welcome to print a copy of pages from this Open Educational Resource (OER) book for your personal use. Please note that mass distribution, commercial use, or the creation of altered versions of the content for distribution are strictly prohibited. This permission is intended to support your individual learning needs while maintaining the integrity of the material.

Print This Text Section Print This Text Section

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.