Mission Impossible? Challenging Police Credibility in Suppression Motions

Suppression motions are the means by which defendants challenge the constitutionality of stops, searches, and seizures, and move the court to exclude illegally recovered evidence. However, defendants face insurmountable obstacles in challenging police credibility in these motions. Using 31 motions with factual disputes from a northeastern state, we dissect the types of defense challenges related to stops, searches, seizures, and arrests, as well as the prevalence and types of corroborating evidence presented by the defense. We find that most defense challenges to police credibility are not corroborated, and evidence of prior police misconduct is not presented. Furthermore, judges typically rule in favor of the police when adjudicating uncorroborated factual disputes between police officers and defendants. As a result, suppression motions generally fail to serve as an accountability structure for police conduct and rarely provide defendants with a viable remedy to address rights violations.

Siyu Liu et al, Mission Impossible? Challenging Police Credibility in Suppression Motions, Criminal Justice Policy Review (33, 6) pp. . Copyright © 2022. DOI: 10.1177/08874034211057612. Users who receive access to an article through a repository are reminded that the article is protected by copyright and reuse is restricted to non-commercial and no derivative uses. Users may also download and save a local copy of an article accessed in an institutional repository for the user's personal reference. For permission to reuse an article, please follow our Process for Requesting Permission.



Work Title Mission Impossible? Challenging Police Credibility in Suppression Motions
Open Access
  1. Siyu Liu
  2. Esther Nir
  1. Suppression motions
  2. Police credibility
  3. Fourth Amendment rights
  4. Search and seizure
  5. Courts
License In Copyright (Rights Reserved)
Work Type Article
  1. Criminal Justice Policy Review
Publication Date November 15, 2021
Publisher Identifier (DOI)
  1. https://doi.org/10.1177/08874034211057612
Deposited February 27, 2023




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Work History

Version 1

  • Created
  • Added Liu_and_Nir_2022_cjpr_openaccess.pdf
  • Added Creator Siyu Liu
  • Added Creator Esther Nir
  • Published
  • Updated Keyword, Publication Date Show Changes
    • Suppression motions , Police credibility, Fourth Amendment rights, Search and seizure, Courts
    Publication Date
    • 2021-01-01
    • 2021-11-15