Stonewalling Justice: Why the Supreme Court Should Reconsider Stone v. Powell
20 Pages Posted: 23 Aug 2012
Date Written: August 23, 2012
Roughly three decades ago, in Stone v. Powell, the Supreme Court prevented habeas review of Fourth Amendment claims, citing the exclusionary rule’s deterrence rationale as well as social costs to justify limiting review. This article examines the rationale of Stone according to the Court’s own announced goals and implicit logic and challenges the legitimacy of the Court’s holding. Stone offers several justifications — primarily based on the Court’s understanding of the Fourth Amendment and the exclusionary rule at the time — to reach its result. But why are Fourth Amendment claims, unlike other constitutional claims related to the introduction of evidence in a criminal trial, barred from review in a habeas proceeding? Does refusing to hear Fourth Amendment claims in habeas proceedings render the Fourth Amendment a dead letter by denying the constitutional rights of some citizens?
Keywords: Habeas Corpus, Fourth Amendment
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