Wednesday, October 16, 2019

CONSTITUTIONAL POLICY Research Paper Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 750 words

CONSTITUTIONAL POLICY - Research Paper Example The rule of law is paramount in all instances, and this is manifested by adherence to the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. At any rate, the Fourth Amendment guarantees American citizens against searches and seizures which are limitless and unreasonable. The police in carrying out this mandate has to comply with the strict requirements in obtaining a court-sanctioned warrant, such as stating the probable cause, the police officer giving a sworn statement, and stating specifically the persons or things to be seized, and the place/s to be searched. This may seem cumbersome to the police but it is one safeguard put in place so that no abuses are committed by officers of the law. Discussion There have been a number of cases which were precedent setting in terms of giving out concrete applications and correct interpretations of this constitutionally-guaranteed citizen right. The Fourth Amendment is a law against unreasonable searches and seizures but jurisprudence in today's courts have shifted the law somewhat to the primary protection of an individual's privacy. But on the other hand, there have been cases also where the government intruded into the private preserves of an individual based on some security issues, such as intercepting electronic or voice communications. It is important to note also the Fourth Amendment is not a blanket general type of an implied constitutional right to privacy. Some important cases are discussed below. In Weeks v. United States (1914), the main issue was the warrantless seizure by the police on items owned by Mr. Freemont Weeks. The items seized were lottery tickets to be transported through mail, which is considered as illegal. Mr. Weeks brought action on this issue, saying the seized items cannot be used against him in court, as this was a violation of right to privacy as protected under the Fourth Amendment. This case was the first application of the â€Å"exclusionary rule† in which evidence obtained illeg ally due to the absence of a valid warrant cannot be used in court; this case became a precedent for all subsequent cases. The law applied was the legal principle that the protection of the Fourth Amendment applied to everybody alike; whether an innocent citizen or somebody who is accused, its protection is held inviolate. A final decision of the court concluded to have the seized papers returned to Mr. Weeks. In a second case law, Silverthorne Lumber Company, Inc., Et Al. v. United States (1920), the Fourth Amendment protection was also invoked by said petitioners. It was a case of tax evasion in which police agents seized the company's books of accounts and other records pertaining to their business operations. Later, the seized documents were eventually ordered returned by the court but the agents made photocopies of the same documents to be used as their evidence. The final decision of the court was a promulgation of the â€Å"fruits of the poisoned tree† principle, in wh ich any subsequent evidence obtained by virtue of a warrantless seizure is tainted as violation of the Fourth Amendment. This legal doctrine is an extension of the former â€Å"exclusionary rule† cited in the previous paragraph. Any knowledge or information obtained by virtue of an illegal seizure cannot be used in court against the accused. The final decision was to state that the protection given by the Fourth Amendment extends to corporations as well. In Mapp v. Ohio (1961), it was a similar case of a violation of the

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