Discussion of Canada’s exclusionary law.
This paper explains the basic approach to the exclusionary law in Canada and then compares and contrasts Canada’s exclusionary law with America’s exclusionary law. The paper also looks at some of the problems created by the exclusionary law and the lack of satisfaction with this law that is generally expressed by the Canadian population.
Professor Wigmore’s point is well taken. The fact that a police officer breaches a guilty person’s rights does not erase that person’s guilt for the crime he committed. A murderer is no less a murderer because a police officer failed to read the murderer his right to counsel. The community has an interest both in upholding the Constitution and in bringing guilty persons to justice for their crimes. Rather than finding ways to vindicate both interests directly, Americans let the criminal go free because the constable blundered. To most people, this is a bizarre, unjust and unacceptable outcome. It does little to enhance anyone’s confidence in the criminal justice system. It is also debatable whether the American exclusionary rule has actually promoted, rather than deterred police misconduct in that country. It turns the criminal justice system into a bizarre and at times, macabre, game.