The exclusionary rule was established by the Supreme Court in the holding in Weeks. United States. It was intended to reinforce the Constitutional Forth Amendment provision that guaranteed privacy rights. Its principle is to the effect that violation of procedural safeguards excluded evidence so gathered from the trial process.
However, the rule is not cast on stone and should be applied with exception, case in point the good faith exception. It is my contention that in the case of United States vs. Leon, the majority had a stronger argument. Reading the holding one appreciates the wisdom in the judgement delivered by Justice White. First, he correctly observes that the dictates of the exclusionary rule should not operate to the deterrence of objective and reason enforcement of the law. He observes that in applying the exclusionary rule, one is expected to weight the costs and benefits of application. In the strain, the rule ought to be applied only in the satisfaction of the purpose it was meant for. In other words, Justice White was recognising the fact that the rule made more sense if it served its deterrent purpose and in the same light protected the Fourth Amendment right. The justice correctly observes that the police did not commit an era of procedure. If anything the police relied on the probable course test applied by magistrate reasonably and acted thereof in good faith. This absented any suspicion as to malice, recklessness or otherwise on the part of the police. As the justice correctly observes the warrant was not backed by a bare bone affidavit.
In my opinion, the majority argument was thus stronger if compared to the arguments by the minority. The minority through Justice Brennan brought out the fact that admitting such illegally obtained evidence by the court amounted to an abrogation of the Fourth Amendment and the exclusionary rule. They argued that the holding went as far as robbing the court of its role of legitimacy. That the majority confinement to deterrence defeated the noble concept of constitutional right granted by the Fourth Amendment. This argument is weak and negated by the dictum of Justice White who argues that the rule must not be applied to the defeat of the reasonable enforcement of the law. In that strain, the application of the exclusionary rule should be suspended in events where law enforcement officers have acted in good faith. That is the principle gathered in this case.
As Justice White would have it, the question that ought to be looked at is the mischief the rule intended to address. In addition, one ought to weight the costs and benefits accrued in applying the exclusionary rule. My concurrence with this ruling springs from the fact that naturally the overriding objective of the law is to see to it that justice is administered. Courts should, therefore, apply the exclusionary rule on a case by case basis. If the Weeks vs. United States holding has been recklessly and maliciously abused, then court should strongly apply the exclusionary rule and reject the evidence. However, in the event it is proven that the police acted in good faith and were objective and reasonable, nothing should stop the admission of such evidence in trial. This should be read in light of the known fact that the law is organic and for man, not the man for the law. This often places some leeway for exceptions in the interest of justice.
Cruikshank, Catherine . 2007. "Dismantling The Exclusionary Rule: United States v. Leon and the Courts of Washington-Should Good Faith Excuse Bad Acts?" University of Puget Sound Law Review 415-439.
McCord, James H, Sandra L McCord, and Suzanne C Bailey. 2011. Criminal Law and Procedure for the Paralegal. New York: Cengage Learning.