Erin E. Murphy, University of California, Berkeley


This is a draft, please do not cite or distribute without the author's permission.

Over the past twenty years there has been an explosion in the creation, availability, and use of criminal justice databases. Large scale database systems now routinely inform law enforcement decisions as formal as whether to arrest or convict an individual and as informal as whether to subject a person to secondary pre-flight screening or investigate possible gang membership. Much has been written about the failure of constitutional law to adequately respond to the threat to constitutional rights posed by databases, but less attention has focused upon the awkward fit between database error rights violations and the traditional remedy for constitutional violations: the exclusionary rule. This Essay examines the rise of databases as a tool of law enforcement and sets forth tentative steps toward a theory of constitutional violations in this area.