The first case I believe to have had a major impact on the way policing is done today was in Weeks v. United States, 1914. Due to this case, the exclusionary rule had come into effect, and all evidence that was illegally obtained by police without a search warrant would be inadmissible in court.
This by far sends a message to all law enforcement departments and agents that our criminal justice system will abide by the Due Process of law and expects the same from the very professionals who are here to protect and serve the rights of all.
This ruling has in fact sent a message, warning all officers and departments that if an individual’s fourth amendment rights are violated, a great risk toward losing a case exists. I also believe the ruling has given a certain amount of reassurance to individuals throughout the United States that our criminal justice system seeks to protect the rights of each for which our constitution was written. Weeks V. United States was the initial case that led to other cases, such as Silverthorne Lumber Co. v. U.S. in 1920 to create the “fruit of the poisoned tree” and Mapp v. Ohio where the exclusionary rule was added into the State courts.
Miranda v. Arizona, 1966. In my opinion, this court ruling has to be one of the most well known cases in recent American history and has played a very important part on protecting individual’s fifth amendment rights. Without the Miranda warnings, anyone foreign, born national or simply unaware of the laws would lack the legal protection needed during a time of misfortune. The Miranda warning protects each individual with a professional counsel and prevents anyone from self incrimination or by making statements that could be misinterpreted thereby being used against them in the court of law.
The third case I believe has had a serious impact on the United States criminal justice system and with modern policing is Texas v. Cobb, 2001. This ruling states that an individual’s sixth amendment right to counsel is offence specific and due to Mr. Cobb’s voluntary confession to his father about the murders he had committed during the burglary, his rights were lost. I believe this makes it harder for criminals and easier for law enforcement officials to land convictions due to the fact, most criminals tend to brag of past crimes they have committed to friends. Now if someone commits a crime that consists of more than one offence, and that criminal waives his or her right to counsel for only some of the charges, it still leaves this criminal open for self incrimination later down the road.
What do you think?
Written by Steven Limbaugh
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