Document Type



This chapter, a Top 10 list of American criminal evidence cases in 2013, is written for a non-American audience of students and practitioners of criminal law. The most important thing for non-Americans to appreciate about any Top 10 list of U.S. criminal evidence cases is that what matters is the presence of a constitutional issue. Without it, a case may have national prominence in popular culture but have almost no national significance as a matter of evidence law. Although always under attack and revision as to its scope, the exclusionary rule is the hidden engine that drives all criminal evidence law into a Constitutional framework. It is this link between criminal procedure and admissible evidence, as mediated by the parameters of the exclusionary rules of the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments, which defines the essence of the modern era of American criminal procedure, and its consequential effect on criminal evidence law. None of the cases in this Top 10 list of criminal evidence cases from 2013 can really be understood without this Constitutional framework, within which one can begin to assess a case's importance based on the impact it is likely to have on the realities of criminal law as it is studied and practised in the United States.

Date of Authorship for this Version



criminal evidence, criminal procedure

Original Citation

Rose Zoltek-Jick, Year in Review 2013 - A Global Perspective of the Most Significant Criminal Evidence Cases, United States, in McWilliams' Canadian Criminal Evidence (S. Casey Hill ed., 2013).