Multiculturism in Criminal Evidence, Essay Example

Discuss the importance of the “fruits of the poisonous tree” doctrine as it relates to the exclusion of evidence.

The “fruits of the poisonous tree” doctrine is used in United States law to describe evidence that has been obtained illegally. In this situation, the “tree” is a metaphor for evidence; therefore the whole phrase is meant to refer to the illegitimate practice of obtaining certain kinds of evidence and it states that this kind of evidence cannot be used against someone in court, regardless of whether it would effectively prove guilt. An example of obtaining such illegal evidence can occur in a situation in which a police officer illegally searches a suspect’s house and finds incriminating evidence; since the police officer did not hold a warrant and therefore lacked legal permission to perform this search, this evidence cannot be used in court.

How does the expectation of privacy apply to overnight guests?

The expectation of privacy is a right granted to us under the fourth amendment of the Constitution of the United States and states that people should be granted privacy in such places including a person’s residence, hotel room, and public places that have been deemed as private including public bathrooms, phone booths, and private parts of jails. The expectation of privacy is applicable to overnight guests regardless of where they are staying unless this is a public place. If the information that the police seek is not openly available in public, they have no legal right to intrude upon the overnight guest.

What are some exceptions to the right of privacy?

The Court has occasionally refused the right of privacy to people riding in a car, while overnight guests are allowed the right of privacy guests who are not staying the night may not be afforded this right, and police will have the right to search bags and purses is there is reasonable expectation that it contains evidence.

For what reasons may a warrantless search be conducted?

There are several reasons that police may be able to search without a warrant; these include consent from the person being searched, when evidence is in plain view, when an officer needs to enter your house to arrest you they are able to do a “protective sweep”, and in emergency situations where waiting to go through the warrant process would cause a loss of evidence.

 What are the parameters of a search incident to arrest?

When search incident to arrest occurs, police have the right to conduct a search of your home or belongings when you are being arrested. If this search does not occur immediately, it can occur at the jail. The point of this search is to take any dangerous weapons that the suspect may have on them or to collect any time sensitive evidence. If a person is arrested in a building, the police are allowed to search the room the person was arrested in for evidence; if it was a car, they can search its inside but not the trunk.

In your opinion, should third-party consent be allowed in warrantless searches?

I don’t believe that third-party consent should be allowed in warrantless searches; occasionally, the person being searched has the right to turn down a search and they should be able to exercise this right freely. “Common authority” over the person being searched is a loose term and can be interpreted too freely in the court to be allowed. It is unfair if a minor commits a crime and his or her mother is able to give an officer consent to search them and it is likewise unfair for one spouse to give police permission to search their home without the permission of the other. Warrantless searches should be exclusively between the police and the suspect or the police and all of the parties who own the items being searched.