exclusionary rule
exclusionary rule n: any of various rules that exclude or suppress evidence; specif: a rule of evidence that excludes or suppresses evidence obtained in violation of a defendant's constitutional rights see also fruit of the poisonous tree, good faith exception, mapp v. ohio and wong sun v. united states in the important cases section
◇ The U.S. Supreme Court established the rule that evidence gathered by a governmental agent in violation of esp. the Fourth and Fifth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution cannot be admitted against a defendant. The rule is available primarily in criminal trials or quasi-criminal proceedings (as punitive administrative hearings) and must also be observed by state courts. There are various statutory exclusionary rules in addition to the rule established by the Supreme Court.

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law. . 1996.

exclusionary rule
n.
A rule stating that evidence found during illegal searches and seizures cannot be used at trial.

The Essential Law Dictionary. — Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. . 2008.


exclusionary rule
in the law of evidence, the practice of allowing the court a discretion to exclude evidence technically admissible but that has a prejudicial effect out of proportion to its evidential value: see R v . Sang [1980] AC 402. The rule in its strict sense often applies to questions of admissibility of certain statements, particularly admissions and confessions, and thus the two issues are considered here. The same twin issues apply to real evidence. In England, a court may reject a statement unless it can be shown that it was not obtained by oppression or obtained in circumstances making it unreliable: R v . Mason [1988] 1 WLR 139. In determining these issues, judges' rules have given way to the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, which defines oppression as including torture, inhuman or degrading treatment and the use of threat of violence (whether or not amounting to torture). The Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 requires the prosecution, if called upon to do so, to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a confession was not obtained by oppression of the person who made it or as a result of anything that might make it unreliable.
In Scotland the issue is one of fairness – fairness to the accused and to the public interest. This requires a voluntary confession to be made by the accused while all the time understanding what was transpiring. While the police in Scotland may keep asking questions and probing, they should not bully or pressure the accused. The exclusionary rule in the strict sense mentioned above allows statements that do not exhibit any special vice, but taken as a whole seem unfair, to be excluded: Lord Advocate's Reference (No. 1 of 1983). In the landmark decision of Chalmers v . HMA 1954 JC 66, the High Court held that unfairness may be of such a degree that not only is the statement inadmissible, a whole line of evidence may be so tainted that it has to be excluded as well. This is most apparent in the case of invalid warrants or warrants that are used to recover property beyond their ambit. The vitiation of the warrant can prevent the evidence acquired being admissible.
In relation to confessions, improper procedure by the police or other investigating officials may render the evidence acquired inadmissible. The general approach was adopted by the US Supreme Court in two landmark decisions. Firstly, in Escobedo v . Illinois 378 US 478 (1964) the fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine was applied to exclude evidence that was obtained as a result of a constitutional violation. Later, in Miranda v . Arizona, 384 US 436 (1966), evidence was declared to be admissible only if the suspect was informed of certain rights: the right to remain silent; that anything he says can be used against him in court; that he has a right to consult with a lawyer and to have him present during interrogation and that if he cannot afford a lawyer, one will be provided. The rights may be waived.

Collins dictionary of law. . 2001.


exclusionary rule
A rule of evidence that disallows the use of illegally obtained evidence in criminal trials. For example, the exclusionary rule would prevent a prosecutor from introducing at trial evidence seized during an illegal search.
Category: Criminal Law → Rights of Suspects & Defendants

Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary. . 2009.


exclusionary rule
n. Of litigation, a body of rules that provide that evidence may not be introduced if it was obtained in violation of a party's constitutional rights.

Webster's New World Law Dictionary. . 2000.


exclusionary rule
The principle based on federal constitutional law that evidence illegally seized by law enforcement officers in violation of a suspect's right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures (See search and seizure) cannot be used against the suspect in a criminal prosecution.

Dictionary from West's Encyclopedia of American Law. 2005.


exclusionary rule
I
The principle based on federal constitutional law that evidence illegally seized by law enforcement officers in violation of a suspect's right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures cannot be used against the suspect in a criminal prosecution.
II The rule preventing illegally obtained evidence to be used in any trial.

Short Dictionary of (mostly American) Legal Terms and Abbreviations.

exclusionary rule
n.
   the rule that evidence secured by illegal means and in bad faith cannot be introduced in a criminal trial. The technical term is that it is "excluded" upon a motion to suppress made by the lawyer for the accused. It is based on the constitutional requirement that ":no [person] can be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law" (Fifth Amendment to the Constitution, applied to the states by 14th Amendment). A technical error in a search warrant made in good faith will not cause exclusion of the evidence obtained under that warrant. In 1995 the U. S. Supreme Court ruled that evidence obtained with a warrant that had been cancelled could be admitted if the law enforcement officer believed it was still in force. However, evidence which was uncovered as a result of obtaining other evidence illegally will be excluded, under the "fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine." Thus, if an illegal wire tap reveals the location of other evidence, both the transcript of the wire tap conversation and the evidence to which the listeners were directed will be excluded.

Law dictionary. . 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Exclusionary Rule — This rule commands that where evidence has been obtained in violation of the search and seizure protections guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, the illegally obtained evidence cannot be used at the trial of the defendant. Under this rule… …   Black's law dictionary

  • exclusionary rule — a rule that forbids the introduction of illegally obtained evidence in a criminal trial. [1955 60] * * * In U.S. law, the principle that evidence seized by police in violation of the constitutional protection against unreasonable search and… …   Universalium

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  • exclusionary rule — noun a rule that provides that otherwise admissible evidence cannot be used in a criminal trial if it was the result of illegal police conduct • Hypernyms: ↑rule of evidence …   Useful english dictionary

  • exclusionary rule — noun Date: 1964 a legal rule that bars unlawfully obtained evidence from being used in court proceedings …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • exclusionary rule — noun A doctrine which requires that evidence obtained as the result of an illegal act on the part of law enforcement personnel (such as a warrantless search, or continued questioning a witness who has invoked the right of counsel) must therefore… …   Wiktionary

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