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30 St. Louis U.L.J. 1031 (1986)


The Supreme Court in Weeks v. United States held that upon a pretrial motion for return of property illegally seized, a court must order restitution, even if government is thereby deprived of its use at a subsequent trial. Many have characterized the Court’s decision as being grounded on a principled rather than empirical basis and as supporting the principle of exclusion. This Article critically examines Weeks to gauge the validity of the principled basis theories that Justice Day arguably advances as defenses to the rule in his opinion. Although a principled rationale underlies the decision in Weeks, it does not serve as an exclusionary rule case. Part II examines the principled basis theories underlying the decision; Part III analyzes Weeks in its historical context; and Part IV explores exclusionary rule cases in the wake of Weeks. Through this discussion, the Author demonstrates how the principled basis theories do not show support for the outcome of the case; rather the resolution of the case was produced by the familiar judicial obligation to provide a remedy for every legal injury.


Reprinted with permission of the St. Louis University Law Journal © 1986 St. Louis University School of Law, St. Louis, Missouri.



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