Discussion board replies | CJUS 410 – Constitutional Criminal Procedure | Liberty University

 I need two replies to this discussion board on either agreeing or disagreeing. 150 words for each reply, the original discussion is attached.

 

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Hello class,

      To outline my position on if the Dripps’ model would work in the real world, I must first outline my positions on the exclusionary rule and restorative justice.  The Exclusionary Rule was enacted by the United States Supreme Court to not allow any evidence into criminal proceedings that was obtained while in violation of a defendant’s rights. Most often, this suppression of evidence was in part to an officer’s lack of experience when conducting constitutional searches and seizures, or done knowingly by the officer. In a scholarly article published by Sage Journals, “…suppression hearings enforce Fourth Amendment protections not only by barring illegally seized evidence from being used at trial, but, also, by using the data they generate to educate and monitor police officers” (Nir, 2020, p. 105). With these protections in place, thought processes have also shifted to developing a more well rounded resolution to an outcome by implementing restorative justice.

     So what is restorative justice? In The Little Book of Restorative Justice, the author states there are, “Three central concepts or pillars deserve a closer look:  harms and needs, obligations, and engagement” (Zehr, 2002, p. 22). Zehr goes on to explain that restorative justice is a concept that focus on how the victim was harmed and what they are needing from the outcome.  Additionally, he explains what obligations do the courts have to the victim and how will they hold the offender accountable? Finally, Zehr addresses how the community, offender, and victim should be engaged with the process to make restorative justice successful. These three pillars, or concepts, form the baseline for what restorative justice is and why it should be implemented. Donald Dripps attempts to take a more “hybridized” approach to both concepts when he developed his model of contingent suppression.

     Dripps proposed that if evidence was seized in the violation of a defendant’s rights, then why not allow the evidence if the courts found sufficient remedial action in its place. An example of this, as Dripps states is, “…suppress tainted evidence, then give the prosecution the opportunity to prove the precise, concrete steps the department has taken to prevent recurrence? If the court finds the corrective action adequate, the evidence can be received; if not it would be suppressed” (Dripps, 2009, p. 2). This way of thinking proposes that if the police were to obtain evidence illegally by violating the defendant’s rights, the courts could still allow the evidence should the department provide a better means of compensation for the infraction.

      I do not believe this model would work in the real world for a number of reasons. First, the Fourth Amendment was established to protect the people from unreasonable searches and seizures. who is to say that if Dripps’ methodology enables law enforcement to conduct more violations for the sake of replacing one wrong with a corrective action in the hopes to permit evidence? Additionally, while Dripps argues that this would hold police accountable for their actions and potentially deter future violations, the fact remains that people’s Fourth Amendment rights are still being violated by not only the illegal search, but its admissibility as evidence should the courts deem the corrective action in its place appropriate. Second, it is proposed that departments could have to pay fines associated with the violation that are of equal or more substantial worth than the infraction. There is no basis, nor way of knowing what violation would occur what penalty as each violation is different and this model is not a program adopted by any state or federal agency. Finally, officers would be less inclined to perform their duties in making reasonable arrests, due to the fear of being reprimanded and their department having to pay should they make an error in judgement. I believe that Dripps’ model is a slap to law enforcement officials and furthers the interests of the courts than it does to protect the people.

I do not believe that Dripps’ model is compatible with restorative justice, as it appears to only target the well being of the judicial system. Dripps’ model would be more compatible with restorative justice by addressing the needs of the victim through appropriate compensatory measures and holding the offender accountable for their actions. In the Book of Zechariah 7, verse 9 the Bible states, “This is what the LORD Almighty said, “”Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another” (New International Version, 2011). This scripture personifies restorative justice by showing that not only should we address the needs of the victim and be compassionate towards their cause, but we must show mercy to the offender as well. The offender should be afforded the protections of their rights, and should evidence be obtained that is in violation of their Fourth Amendment rights, then that evidence should not be permitted during the criminal proceedings. By addressing the needs of the victim, holding the offender accountable, and protecting the rights of all parties involved, it is only then that the community can engage in bringing about resolution to the conflict and restoring justice.

References

Dripps, D. A. (2009). The “New” Exclusionary Rule Debate: From “Still Preoccupied with 1985” to “Virtual Deterrence”. University of San Diego School of Law, 9(9). https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1376480Links to an external site. 

New International Version Bible. (2011). Biblica, Inc. https://www.biblica.com/online-bible/Links to an external site.

Nir, E. (2020). Empowering the Exclusionary Rule: Using suppression motion data to improve police searches and searches in the United States. International Journal of Police Science & Management, 22(1), 96-107. https://doi.org/10.1177/14613557198889-45Links to an external site. 

Zehr, H. (2002). The Little Book of Restorative Justice (pp. 1-76). Good Books. https://charterforcompassion.org/images/menus/RestorativeJustice/Restorative-Justice-Book-Zehr.pdfLinks to an external site.