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The Champion

November/December 2008 , Page 5 

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President's Column

By John Wesley Hall

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The point of the Fourth Amendment, which often is not grasped by zealous officers, is not that it denies law enforcement the support of the usual inferences which reasonable men draw from evidence. Its protection consists in requiring that those inferences be drawn by a neutral and detached magistrate instead of being judged by the officer engaged in the often competitive enterprise of ferreting out crime. 

Johnson v. United States, 333 U.S. 10, 13-14 (1948).

Chief Justice Roberts: I don’t know what the situation is like in Dale County. They probably don’t have the latest version of WordPerfect, or whatever it is. They are probably making do with whatever they can under their budget and doing the best they can.

Ms. Karlan: But there’s not a Barney Fife1 defense to the violation of the Fourth Amendment either.

Herring v. United States, No. 07-513, oral argument transcript at 20 (Oct. 7, 2008).

Yes, Virginia, there is a Barney Fife exception to the exclusionary rule.

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