The Corner

A Fair Corrective

From a reader:

Hello Jonah:

I’ve found the discussion on the exclusionary rule to be interesting.

I currently work as a defense attorney, so I obviously have some

affinity for the rule.  By I come from a very conservative background

and actually worked for several years as a prosecutor before falling

into my current line of work. (Criminal defense is a sideline to the

main thrust of my practice).

Thus, I find myself conflicted for a couple of reasons.  First, I

learned very early on when I worked in the prosecutor’s office that

cops lie, and they lie all the time.  The thing is, most of the time

we don’t really care that they lied, specifically for the reasons that

you have outlined.  This is not say that all cops lie or fudge the

facts to get around a possible suppression based on a bad search, but

it happens much more often than is generally known.  Thus, giving cops

an “out” to cover there intentionaly illegal actions is problematic.

However, you suggest that “If a cop wrongly breaks down my door, I

should be able to sue. If a cop wasn’t absolutely sure he had the

right guy, he’d still have a strong incentive to have all the right

paperwork.”  I worry that this system would have the opposite effect,

w/ police officers subject to civil penalties (and loss of job?)

becoming too timid in their work for fear of crossing the line.  Just

because I’m a defense attorney doesn’t mean I want the police

emasculated.  When I call them, I want them at my door guns drawn and

ready to roll.

My own personal experience is that folks who cry about the effect of

the exclusionary rule are overstating their cases.  In my own case,

I’ve probably brought 15-20 motion to suppress last year, and I only

won in a single case, and even in that case, my client didn’t get away

scott-free because there was other evidence that wasn’t suppressable.

My evidentiary challeges never win unless the violation is easily

provable and obvious.  In most cases, it’s a case of he said/she said,

and who do you think judge’s most often believe?  The guy in blue w/

the badge and gun?  Or the guy with multiple tattoos, nose rings,

piercings, long, ratty hair and a bad attitude?

I guess what I’m saying is that, while there may be some egregious

exceptions, the exclusionary rule works pretty well as is.

Ciao.

[Name withheld]

Most Popular

U.S.

FBI to Interview Hunter Biden Business Partner

The FBI has asked Tony Bobulinski, former business partner of Hunter Biden, to sit for an interview on Friday, Senator Ron Johnson (R., Wis.) told reporters. Bobulinski was initially scheduled to give an interview on Friday to members of various Senate committees regarding his knowledge of business deals ... Read More
U.S.

FBI to Interview Hunter Biden Business Partner

The FBI has asked Tony Bobulinski, former business partner of Hunter Biden, to sit for an interview on Friday, Senator Ron Johnson (R., Wis.) told reporters. Bobulinski was initially scheduled to give an interview on Friday to members of various Senate committees regarding his knowledge of business deals ... Read More
Elections

Biden Dusts Off Obama’s Most Famous Lie

"If you like your health care plan, you can keep it," was a promise President Barack Obama often made when selling the Affordable Care Act. It was one of the most significant political lies in recent history, leveled during one of our most contentious policy debates. If Americans knew they might lose their ... Read More
Elections

Biden Dusts Off Obama’s Most Famous Lie

"If you like your health care plan, you can keep it," was a promise President Barack Obama often made when selling the Affordable Care Act. It was one of the most significant political lies in recent history, leveled during one of our most contentious policy debates. If Americans knew they might lose their ... Read More
Elections

Biden Wants It Both Ways

This week felt like a month. On the menu today: After President Trump asked, “Would you close down the oil industry?” Biden responded, “I have a transition from the old industry, yes,” and now Biden’s campaign insists the candidate didn’t mean it. Biden also insisted that he “never said I oppose ... Read More
Elections

Biden Wants It Both Ways

This week felt like a month. On the menu today: After President Trump asked, “Would you close down the oil industry?” Biden responded, “I have a transition from the old industry, yes,” and now Biden’s campaign insists the candidate didn’t mean it. Biden also insisted that he “never said I oppose ... Read More

The Pollster Who Thinks Trump Is Ahead

The polling aggregator on the website RealClearPolitics shows the margin in polls led by Joe Biden in a blue font and the ones led by Donald Trump in red. For a while, the battleground states have tended to be uniformly blue, except for polls conducted by the Trafalgar Group. If you are a firm believer only in ... Read More

The Pollster Who Thinks Trump Is Ahead

The polling aggregator on the website RealClearPolitics shows the margin in polls led by Joe Biden in a blue font and the ones led by Donald Trump in red. For a while, the battleground states have tended to be uniformly blue, except for polls conducted by the Trafalgar Group. If you are a firm believer only in ... Read More
Media

The Media’s Shameful Hunter Biden Abdication

In an interview with National Public Radio’s public editor today, Terence Samuel, managing editor for news, explained why readers haven’t seen any stories about the New York Post’s Hunter Biden email scoop. “We don’t want to waste our time on stories that are not really stories, and we don’t want ... Read More
Media

The Media’s Shameful Hunter Biden Abdication

In an interview with National Public Radio’s public editor today, Terence Samuel, managing editor for news, explained why readers haven’t seen any stories about the New York Post’s Hunter Biden email scoop. “We don’t want to waste our time on stories that are not really stories, and we don’t want ... Read More