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Justices Step Closer To Repeal Of Evidence Ruling

Publication Date: 
January 31, 2009
Source: 
The New York Times
Author: 
Adam Liptak

Professor Pamela S. Karlan is quoted in a New York Times story about the recent Supreme Court decision in Herring v. United States affecting the exclusionary rule that is usually applied when evidence is obtained improperly by police. The New York Times writes:

This month, Chief Justice Roberts, writing for the majority in Herring v. United States, a 5-to-4 decision, took a big step toward the goal he had discussed a quarter-century before. Taking aim at one of the towering legacies of the Warren Court, its landmark 1961 decision applying the exclusionary rule to the states, the chief justice’s majority opinion established for the first time that unlawful police conduct should not require the suppression of evidence if all that was involved was isolated carelessness. That was a significant step in itself. More important yet, it suggested that the exclusionary rule itself might be at risk.

...

For now, said Pamela Karlan, a law professor at Stanford, “they don’t have five votes to disavow the exclusionary rule by name.”

At the same time, Professor Karlan said, “you are not going to see any dimension along which there is going to be an expansion of defendants’ rights in this court.”