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Have been in law enforcement for 30+ years and have never heard of any such "good faith" rule. . . at least not by such a name or description.

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The "good faith rule" in law enforcement is an exception to the general rule that all evidence that is obtained as a result of an unconstitutional search and seizure must be excluded from use at trial.

As Chief Judge of the New York State Court of Appeals (later Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court), Benjamin Cardozo said, "Should the criminal go free because the constable has blundered?" The "good faith rule" would say "No" to that question.

The "exclusionary rule" prevents evidence of crimes from being used at trial whether the search and seizure was intentionally wrong or not. The "good faith rule" distinguishes intentional unlawful searches from unintentional unlawful searches and would not apply the general exclusionary rule in situations in which the search was wrong but made in good faith.

Some say criminal justice is hamstrung by the exclusionary rule, because police, who are not trained in constitutional law and all its niceties, must frequently act immediately, without time to consult law books and in the heat of the moment. Yet, later on, 9 U. S. Supreme Court justices might labor over months of legal research, argument and debate among themselves and still come out split 5 to 4 on whether or not a particular search was lawful or not. The policeman on the street does not have that luxury, so if he or she makes a search and seizure that is in good faith believed to be lawful, the "good faith rule" would not exclude that evidence.

Others would say that that is not the point. The Constitution forbids unreasonable searches and seizures and that if a particular search is made improperly even in good faith, it is wrong and the evidence must be excluded.

The United States Supreme Court took the "good faith rule" from legal theory to legal reality in the 1984 case of United States v. Leon, reported at Volume 468 United States Reporter page 897.

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Q: The good faith rule means what for law enforcement?
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