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The Neglected History of Criminal Procedure, 1850-1940


Wes Oliver


Widener University - School of Law

August 28, 2009

Widener Law School Legal Studies Research Paper No. 09-26

Abstract:     
Originalism has focused the attention of courts and academics on Framing Era history to interpret constitutional limits on police conduct. Previously unexplored sources reveal, however, that Framing Era limits on officers were expressly abandoned as professional police forces were created in the mid-nineteenth century and charged with aggressively investigating and preventing crime. The modern scheme of judicially supervised police investigations was then implemented after corruption and scandals of the 1920s. The development of modern criminal procedure has a rich historical background, but it has almost nothing to do with the events of the Framing Era.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 53

Keywords: criminal procedure, history, search and seizure, interrogations, wiretapping, Prohibition, originalism

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Date posted: August 31, 2009 ; Last revised: November 2, 2009

Suggested Citation

Oliver, Wes, The Neglected History of Criminal Procedure, 1850-1940 (August 28, 2009). Widener Law School Legal Studies Research Paper No. 09-26. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1463746 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1463746

Contact Information

Wes Oliver (Contact Author)
Widener University - School of Law ( email )
4601 Concord Pike
P.O. Box 7286
Wilmington, DE 19803-0474
United States
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