Criminal trials are typically resolved by the facts presented and how they are accepted by the tribunal of fact together with the application of the relevant law.
Or quite simply criminal trials are often resolved by a combination of both law and facts. Be that as it may, the facts of the case are pivotal to the ultimate outcome of the criminal trial and as a result the manner in which those facts are collected can not only infringe upon the defendant’s right to a fair trial, but can undermine the perception of justice.
This is the basis of the exclusionary rule. Its main purpose is to devise a standard by which improperly obtained evidence may not be admitted at the criminal trial. The standard test by and large mandates that such evidence should be excluded if its prejudicial effect outweighs its probative value. This is so since improperly obtained evidence can be suspect and that becomes a crucial question for the judge’s discretion to admit that evidence into a trial.
This is where the combination of fact and law determines the outcome of a trial. Evidence capable of proving a fact may or may not be admissible by law.
Critics have long since debated that the manner in which the exclusionary rule has evolved over time has rendered it useless. The discussion that follows examines these arguments and maintains the position that the exclusionary rule is valuable and plays a part in the pursuit of truth and justice in the criminal trial.