In the Weekly Standard, one William Tucker gives a strong argument against the exclusionary rule, under which improperly obtained evidence can be ruled out of bounds at a trial. It's an interesting argument beefed up with plentiful information, including the rule's unexpected connection to homicidal boxing promoter Don King:
On May 23, 1957, three Cleveland police officers came to the door of Dollree Mapp, who was suspected of harboring a suspect in a bombing case. (The bomb had gone off on the front porch of Don King's house–a warning to the future boxing promoter from rivals in the numbers racket.) Mapp called her lawyer, who told her not to allow the police to enter without a warrant.
The officers departed. Three hours later they returned with reinforcements, waving a piece of paper in front of her face and saying it was a warrant (whether it was remains in dispute). Mapp grabbed the paper and stuffed it in her dress. The police wrestled it back and put her in handcuffs. Her lawyer arrived but was not allowed to speak to her or enter the house. For the next few hours, police ransacked Mapp's home but didn't find their fugitive. In the basement, however, they did discover a suitcase that Mapp said belonged to a former tenant. Inside were four pamphlets, a couple of photographs, and a pencil doodling alleged to be obscene. Mapp was convicted of possession of pornographic material and sentenced to two to seven years in prison.
Drawing on such contemporary monsters as 20th hijacker Zacarias Moussaoui, baby torturer Dr. Theodore Frank, and annoying legal hairsplitter Alan Dershowitz, Tucker comes close to proving his point. After all, it was one of the greatest legal minds of our time, Judge Lance Ito, who favored admitting some controversial evidence at the OJ trial on the grounds that the purpose of a court was "to find out the truth." But then Tucker comes up with a hypothetical that actually demonstrates why we need the exclusionary rule in the first place:
If the warrant specifies a 9mm Smith & Wesson and the gun turns out to be a .357 Magnum, is it admissible?
Why stop with guns? I mean, if the cops find a DNA sample in your home, does it really matter whether it's the exact same one they're looking for? If they're looking for a stolen DVD player, who but a nitpicker would complain if the DVD player you have isn't the stolen one?
One strong argument for doing away with the exclusionary rule entirely (rather than relying on "good faith" exemptions, as we do now) is that the proper remedy for a Fourth Amendment violation is a civil suit. When your .357 is being sold at a police auction and you're rotting in prison, I'm sure you'll take comfort in knowing that you're another of about two million jailbirds who while away their afternoons by writing petitions bellyaching about how they were framed.
Thanks to David Schaefer for the link.