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Abstract

This Essay seeks to serve two ends. First, it provides a map for the use of the Breaking Bad series in the core constitutional criminal procedure course focusing on the limits on police investigation arising from the Fourth and Fifth Amendments. Video is a powerful mechanism for presenting hypotheticals to students. Recent work on other shows such as The Wire has recognized the value of television as an alternative pedagogical technique in the law school curriculum. Breaking Bad deserves to take its place as a teaching aid in a criminal procedure classroom. The first part of this Essay identifies usable scenes for both faculty and students, and provides a preliminary analysis of the doctrine. The second goal of this Essay is to expand the focus of the traditional course beyond the United States Constitution. Breaking Bad is more than a show about cops and criminals. It is a show about New Mexico. As a result, for those of us training New Mexico’s future prosecutors and defense lawyers, it provides a mechanism to introduce students to state criminal procedure. As is true in many states, the New Mexico Constitution contains parallel protections to the Fourth and Fifth Amendments that have been interpreted more broadly than their restrictive federal counterparts. This Essay is a call to law school faculty to incorporate state constitutions into the criminal procedure class. Because criminal law is fundamentally state law, these are the provisions our students will implement in practice. As a result, they deserve significant time in the criminal procedure course.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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