The exclusionary rule does not prevent the government from introducing illegally collected evidence to indict defendants` statements in court or to attack credibility. The Supreme Court recognized this exception in Harris v. New York as a litmus test to prevent perjury. However, even if the government suspects perjury, it can only use tainted evidence for impeachment and cannot use it to prove guilt. The court also used Leon to admit evidence of an arrest based on the erroneous assumption that there was a probable reason for the arrest if the misconception was due to a negligent accounting error by a police employee other than the arresting officer. In Herring v. United States59Footnote555 U.S. 135 (2009), Herring was a five-to-four decision with two dissenting opinions. A police officer had not removed from the police computer database an arrest warrant recalled five months earlier, and the arresting officer had therefore mistakenly believed that the arrest warrant was still in effect. The court upheld the admissibility of the evidence because the error resulted from isolated negligence, mitigated by the arrest.60Footnote 129 p. C.
to 698. Although the Court did not emphasize that all recording errors committed by the police are exempt from the exclusion rule, it stressed that the conduct of the police must be sufficiently deliberate that the exclusion could usefully deter them and be sufficiently culpable to make such deterrence worth the price paid by the judiciary. As we have explained in our cases, the exclusion rule serves to deter intentional, reckless, grossly negligent or potential systemic negligence.61Footnote129 pp. 703, 702. Justice Ginsburg, in a disagreement upheld by Justices Stevens, Souter and Breyer, stated that the Court`s opinion emphasized the need for a vigorous exclusionary rule and the seriousness of recording errors in law enforcement were underestimated. Id., p. 706. Mr. Ginsburg added that the majority`s suggestion that the exclusionary rule can only have a marginal deterrent effect if the misconduct in question is only negligent, unintentional or reckless. contradicts a fundamental premise of tort law that liability for negligence, i.e.
lack of care, encourages more caution. Id., p. 708. Justice Breyer, in a disagreement shared by Justice Souter, noted that although the court had previously ruled that errors made by a clerk did not trigger the exclusion rule, Arizona v. Evans, 514 USA 1 (1995), he argued that recording police errors should trigger the rule, since the majority of errors committed on a case-by-case basis, Courts would find it difficult to conduct multifactorial investigations into police culpability. Id., p. 711. Nevertheless, ten years later, the view of the common law itself was rejected and an exclusionary rule was proposed in Weeks v. United States.4Footnote232 U.S. 383 (1914). Weeks had been convicted on the basis of evidence seized from his home during two warrantless searches; some of the evidence consisted of private documents as applied in Boyd. The court ruled unanimously that the evidence should have been excluded by the trial court.
The Fourth Amendment, Justice Day said, imposes restrictions on courts and law enforcement officials on exercising powers consistent with their safeguards. The tendency of those who enforce the country`s criminal laws to obtain convictions through illegal searches and forced confessions. should not be sanctioned in judgments of courts that always have the support of the Constitution and in which persons of all circumstances have the right to invoke respect for these fundamental rights.5Footnote232 U.S. at 392. The basis for the decision is ambiguous, but appears to have been the assumption that admitting illegally seized evidence would in itself violate the Fourth Amendment. If, in this way, private letters and documents can be seized, stored, and used as evidence against a citizen accused of a crime, the protection of the Fourth Amendment, which declares his right to be protected from such search and seizure, is worthless and, with respect to those so placed, could just as easily be removed from the Constitution. The efforts of the courts and their officials to bring the guilty to justice, however laudable, must not be supported by the sacrifice of these great principles established by years of effort and suffering that led to their incorporation into the nation`s constitution.6Footnote232 United States.