The exclusionary rule is a mechanism for protecting 4th Amendment rights by, in some circumstances, disallowing illegally gathered evidence from being used against a defendant at trial.
Consider the following scenario: A Case of ‘Who did it?’
Mary Ellis, a widow who resides with her adult son William, awakens on a Saturday morning and goes to her walk-in closet, where she finds a man whom she recognizes as a neighbor, Clyde Stevens, lying on the floor unresponsive. Mrs. Ellis calls 911. Minutes later, police and EMS personnel arrive. Mr. Stevens is pronounced dead from an apparent stabbing, as he has a large butcher knife protruding from his back. Mrs. Ellis is transported to the hospital for observation, as she is quite distraught.
Crime scene investigators actively process the scene. In William's bedroom, technicians develop a blood fingerprint adjacent to a light switch, using an amino acid stain, after locating the print using the absorptive properties of blood and a portable argon laser. The crime scene investigator photographs the print and recovers a sample of the blood for DNA analysis. The print is from the right index finger of William Ellis, and DNA analysis matches the blood to Clyde Stevens.
Write a 1,050–1,400 word essay incorporating the following:
Describe 1) the exclusionary rule, and 2) the “fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine,” including an explanation of how they differ.
Explain whether the exclusionary rule and/or “fruit of the poisonous tree” doctrine apply to the evidence recovered in A Case of “Who did it?’. If so, how?
If police conduct an illegal search, are they civilly liable for their actions?
Briefly describe the steps that you would have taken as a responding officer to the Ellis scene to ensure the admissibility of all evidence.
Format your work consistent with APA guidelines.
Include a title and reference page.
Cite a minimum of three reliable sources within the body of your paper using in-text citations where appropriate.
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