You will be participating in a two-person debate on the issue of the proposed legislation to abolish the exclusionary rule in federal courts. The legislation reads as follows:

" . . . Evidence obtained as a result of a search or seizure that is otherwise admissible in a federal criminal proceeding shall not be excluded in a proceeding in a court of the United States on the ground that the search or seizure was in violation of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution."

The debate will follow a scripted format. One person will argue FOR the legislation and the other will argue AGAINST the legislation. Each participant will have thirty seconds to defend his or her point of view based on each issue using the introductory statements presented below, supporting arguments and data from Part I of this activity, additional research he or she may have conducted, and the comments made by his or her debate competitor. Before you begin, read the introductory statements below. Then take a few minutes to list the arguments and data that support each statement. This can include, but is not limited to, information from Part I of this activity.

The statements provided in this handout are intended to be used as introductory statements.

For Discussion

What additional argument could be made regarding whether the exclusionary rule should be abolished or kept in STATE courts?


Determine your position on the legislation. In Part I of this activity, circle what you perceive to be the best arguments and corresponding supporting data. Use that information to write a short speech expressing your position on the proposed legislation. The speech will be delivered on the floor of the Senate. Remember that your constituents may be watching on television.

Note to teacher: You could modify this activity by dividing the class into teams and having each member of the team prepare and debate one of the five issues in the handout.

Note to teachers: This is the same as the extension activity that appears in Part I of your lesson. Have your students do it once, preferably after completing the debate.