Consider this scenario: Police suspect a person of selling illegal drugs. As a part of their investigation, and without obtaining a search warrant, they do the following:
a) Police enter his unlocked car while it is parked in his driveway in order to search in the glove box and under the seats. They find a bag containing cocaine under the front passenger seat.
b) Police ask the suspect’s sister to check to see if he has a gun hidden in his dresser drawer, and to get it if she can do so safely. The next time she visits her brother, she secretly searches his dresser and finds and takes a gun from it. She gives the gun to the police. Upon testing, the gun implicates the suspect in a recent shooting.
c) Police respond to a call from the suspect’s former girlfriend. She gives them a computer disk that contains financial information that she downloaded from the suspect’s computer without his knowledge. She explains that she stole this information on her own initiative because the suspect treated her badly and she wanted to get back at him. The police receive the disk from her and thank her for calling them.
d) Based on the information contained on the computer disk, the police obtain names of the suspect’s customers. The police contact and question the customers and obtain statements that are helpful in building the case against the suspect.
Answer the following questions on the Main Discussion Board.
1. Discuss the actions of the police officers and individuals (sister, girlfriend) in the scenario described above. Assume that there was never a search warrant issued. Which, if any, items of evidence are admissible in court against the suspect/defendant? Which, if any, items are not admissible? Explain your answers fully.
2. Discuss your personal opinion of the exclusionary rule. What is its purpose? Are there any alternatives besides the exclusionary rule to achieve its purpose?
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