Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law

First Page



The exclusionary rule requires the suppression of evidence that agents of United States Government seize abroad in violation of the fourth amendment to the United States Constitution. In contrast, the exclusionary rule does not generally apply to overseas operations conducted by agents of a foreign country, even though the operation would violate the fourth amendment if conducted by United States officials. This dichotomy is the result of a judicial realization that the exclusion of evidence seized by foreign police in violation of the United States Constitution and presented on a "silver platter" to United States law enforcement officials cannot be expected to deter foreign police from violating United States law. The primary justification for excluding illegally seized evidence, is deterrence of unlawful police conduct. Because excluding evidence seized by foreign officials would not further this goal, United States courts have not applied the exclusionary rule to such evidence.