Self-Incrimination and Confessions

You are a police officer assigned to a task force that is investigating major drug trafficking operations in your jurisdiction. As part of the investigative process, a judge has issued a wiretap order for a suspect’s phone. You are assigned the responsibility of monitoring phone conversations, and you overhear the suspect, as well as other individuals, who may or may not be involved in the drug ring. Before obtaining enough evidence to arrest and prosecute the suspect, you hear evidence related to other types of criminal activity.Assignment GuidelinesIn a 3–5-page paper (not including the cover and reference pages), address the following:What constitutional issues are involved in the scenario that dictates what you can and cannot do related to the evidence of other criminal activity outside the scope of the original wiretap order? Explain.Example 1: You want to act on the information about the murder plot but your warrant does not cover that. The Fourth Amendment requires that you have a warrant to listen but only for the evidence written on that warrant.Example 2: The Fifth Amendment gives us the right to not testify against ourselves. This is the law against self-incrimination. If you act on the information about the murder plot, you are denying the offender his Fifth Amendment rights because his words incriminated him.If you arrest the other individuals for the crimes not associated with the reasons for the wiretap, what happens to any future evidence that might be obtained from the wiretap? Why?Hint: Consider the doctrine of the fruit of the poisonous tree or the exclusionary rule.


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