RHODE ISLAND CRIMINAL DEFENSE A Practice Manual – Exclusionary Rule

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A Practice Manual, 4th Edition
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Exclusionary Rule

State v. Spratt, 386 A.2d 1094 (R.I. 1978). The state exclusionary rule does not apply to probation revocation proceedings. R.I.S.C. leaves open the question of searches designed to harass probationers or that shock the conscience of the court.

“These decisions, however, do not go so far as to say that an extension of the exclusionary rule would not deter police from searches which are consciously directed toward or intended to harass probationers … or which shock the conscience of the court. But since the search in this case was not so directed or intended, we leave to a future day consideration of the effect of that kind of conduct on the applicability of the exclusionary rule.” Id. at 1095.
State v. Mello, 558 A.2d 638 (R.I. 1989). Evidence seized in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment’s due process clause is excludable from a probation revocation proceeding. Note that federal case law does not allow coerced confessions for any purpose. New Jersey v. Portash, 440 U.S. 450 (1979).

“In the absence of a denial of due process, our holding in State v. Spratt, 386 A.2d 1094 (R.I. 1978), would clearly make the admission of the evidence obtained from the defendant proper.” Id. at 638.
State v. Campbell, 833 A.2d 1228 (R.I. 2003). Magistrate denied defendant’s motion to suppress a custodial statement given as a result of coercion. R.I.S.C. affirmed and noted that the magistrate was not required to conduct a separate hearing to determine the admissibility of the evidence under the exclusionary rule.

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