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 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.
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.