Article Title

Enforcing the Fourth Amendment: The Exclusionary Rule and Its Alternatives

Publication Title

Washington University Law Quarterly


The exclusionary rule compels the suppression, in federal and state criminal prosecutions, of evidence seized by police in violation of the Fourth Amendment. Although the Supreme Court has thus far merely whittled away at the suppression doctrine, the Court may soon decide to abandon the doctrine entirely. Because such a decision could have a profound effect on criminal justice systems in America, a comprehensive review of the arguments advanced on both sides of this issue would seem to be especially timely. In this Article, following a summary of the exclusionary rule’s development, these arguments are set forth and examined. In the interest of discovering the remedies most likely to secure a citizen’s Fourth Amendment rights, this Article also considers many of the alternative or supplementary enforcement devices that have been proposed over the years.