Constitutional Constraints on Proving 'Whodunnit?'

39 Pages Posted: 6 Nov 2010

See all articles by John O. Sonsteng

John O. Sonsteng

Mitchell Hamline School of Law

Charles E. Moyland

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: 1990


Criminal-Constitutional Law serves a quite distinct purpose. The existence of criminal law is as ancient as organized society itself; but specific criminal laws can be understood only in the context of the society they serve. In the United States more than in any other part of the common law world, and largely since the end of World War II, the criminal justice system has placed increasing importance not just on catching the right criminals, but also making sure that the government plays by the rules when doing so. By examining the history and features of American criminal and constitutional law, one may begin to understand why the American system places these constraints on the age old criminal law question: “WHODUNNIT?” This article explores these issues.

Keywords: Criminal law, law enforcement, constitutional evidence, bill of rights, criminal justice, Due Process, fourth amendment, fifth amendment, constitutional history, incorporation, criminal procedure

Suggested Citation

Sonsteng, John O. and Moyland, Charles E., Constitutional Constraints on Proving 'Whodunnit?' (1990). William Mitchell Law Review, Vol. 16, 1990, Available at SSRN:

John O. Sonsteng (Contact Author)

Mitchell Hamline School of Law ( email )

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Charles E. Moyland

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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