You know, when I read headlines such as this:

FBI chief tries to deal with the ‘Ferguson effect’

and others talking about the state of the country, as far as police, crime, financially, or otherwise, I always think about something that I read a long time ago when I first started reading lawsuits for content and case law:

“These, then, are the considerations of reason and experience which point to the rejection of a doctrine that would freely admit in a federal criminal trial evidence seized by state agents in violation of the defendant’s constitutional rights. But there is another consideration—the imperative of judicial integrity. It was of this that Mr. Justice Holmes and Mr. Justice Brandeis so eloquently spoke in Olmstead v. United States, 277 U.S. 438, at pages 469, 471, 48 S.Ct. 564, at pages 569, 570, 72 L.Ed. 729, more than 30 years ago. ‘For those who *223 agree with me,’ said Mr. Justice Holmes, ‘no distinction can be taken between the government as prosecutor and the government as judge.’ 277 U.S. at page 470, 48 S.Ct. at page 575. (Dissenting opinion.) ‘In a government of laws,’ said Mr. Justice Brandeis, ‘existence of the government will be imperilled if it fails to observe the law scrupulously. Our government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or for ill, it teaches the whole people by its example. Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy. To declare that in the administration of the criminal law the end justifies the means—to declare that the government may commit crimes in order to secure the conviction of a private criminal—would bring terrible retribution. Against that pernicious doctrine this court should resolutely set its face.’ 277 U.S., at page 485, 48 S.Ct. at page 575. (Dissenting opinion.)

Elkins v. United States, 364 U.S. 206, 222-23, 80 S. Ct. 1437, 1447, 4 L. Ed. 2d 1669 (1960)
Advertisements

One thought on “

Feel free to comment

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s