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Exclusionary Rule Applies to Unlawful Parole Search in PA

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The Supreme Court has recently held that the State Constitution provides greater protection to probationers/parolees under the PA Constitution than does our U.S. Constitution

By Attorney Elisabeth K.H. Pasqualini, Criminal Defense Attorney, Harrisburg, PA for Shaffer & Engle

In Commonwealth v. Arter, 151 A.3d 149 (Dec. 28, 2016), our Supreme Court of PA held that evidence which is illegally obtained in contravention of the exclusionary rule is not admissible in a parole revocation hearing. Art. I, Section 8. As a standard matter the U.S. Supreme Court has previously held in Commonwealth v. Scott (another PA case) that the 4th Amendment Exclusionary Rule does not apply to probation/parole searches done without reasonable suspicion. However, Scott was not challenged under Art. I, Sec. 8 of the PA Constitution. The PA Supreme Court here holds that in the case of Arter, which was challenged under both the U.S. Constitution and the PA Constitution, that the Exclusionary Rule of the PA Constitution affords broader protections.

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