Controlling the Police: The Judge’s Role in Making and Reviewing Law Enforcement Decisions

We have chosen to focus here upon judicial involvement (1) in determining whether arrest and search warrants should issue and (2) in reviewing such decisions after they have been executed (and, perhaps, made) by police officials. A comparison of some recent findings respecting the actual practice at the trial level with the “ideal” as set forth in appellate opinions may allow some conclusions to be drawn both as to the present effectiveness of appellate rulings on these subjects and as to the ultimate feasibility of further implementation of those rulings. Finally, since the exclusionary rule is, theoretically at least, one of the strongest arms of judicial control over police practice, it is proper that it be re-examined and its practical deficiencies set forth.