Exclusionary Rule

Topics: Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, Miranda v. Arizona, Exclusionary rule Pages: 5 (1042 words) Published: June 25, 2014

§ 7.01 General Rule

Evidence gathered in violation of the Fourth Amendment is not admissible in a criminal trial against the defendant.
§ 7.02 Exceptions to the Exclusionary Rule

[A] Non-Trial Criminal Proceedings

Illegally seized evidence may constitutionally be introduced in a variety of non-trial criminal proceedings including: grand jury proceedings, preliminary hearings, bail proceedings, sentencing, and proceedings to revoke parole.

[B] Impeachment at Trial

A prosecutor may introduce evidence obtained from a defendant in violation of the defendant's Fourth Amendment rights for the limited purpose of impeaching the defendant's: (1) direct testimony; or (2) answers to legitimate questions put to the defendant during cross-examination. However, such evidence may not be used to impeach other defense witnesses. James v. Illinois, 493 U.S. 307 (1990).

[C] “Good Faith” Exception

[1] In General

Evidence obtained by a police officer in reasonable reliance on a search warrant that is subsequently found invalid may be admissible. United States v. Leon, 468 U.S. 897 (1984). It is necessary that a reasonably well-trained officer would have believed that the warrant was valid. This has come to be known as the “good faith” or Leon exception to the exclusionary rule. Many states, however, have rejected this exception.

[2] Circumstances Suggesting Invalidity of Warrant

Circumstances which should suggest to a police officer that a search warrant is not valid include: (1) the magistrate who issued the warrant relied on information supplied by an affiant who knew that the statements in the document were false or who recklessly disregarded the truth; (2) the magistrate's behavior was so lacking in neutrality that it would have been apparent to a reasonable officer, e.g., where the magistrate acts as a rubber stamp for the police by signing the warrant without reading it, while in the presence of the officer who later claims reliance; (3) the warrant is based on an affidavit lacking sufficient indicia of reliability, e.g., if a warrant is issued based on a wholly conclusory affidavit; (4) the warrant is facially deficient in that it fails to particularize the place to be searched or the things to be seized.

[3] Improperly Executed Warrants

The Leon [468 U.S. 897] “good faith” rule does not cure improperly executed warrants.
[4] Extension of Good Faith Exception

The good-faith exception has been extended to a non-warrant search based on an error made by a court employee, rather than by a police officer. Arizona v. Evans, 514 U.S. 1 (1995) (a police officer relied on a clerical error made by a court employee; because of the error, the patrol car computer showed that there was an outstanding misdemeanor warrant for defendant's arrest; a subsequent warrantless search of the defendant's car incident to the arrest revealed marijuana).

§ 7.03 “Fruit of the Poisonous Tree” Doctrine

In general, the exclusionary rule extends not only to the direct products of an unconstitutional search and seizure but also to ancillary evidence that results from the illegal search. The fruit-of-the-poisonous-tree doctrine is subject to three qualifications: (1) the independent source doctrine;

(2) the inevitable discovery rule; and
(3) the attenuated connection principle.

[A] Independent Source Doctrine

Evidence that is not causally linked to unconstitutional governmental activity is admissible pursuant to the independent source doctrine. The doctrine applies if the challenged evidence is: (1) first discovered during lawful police activity; or

(2) initially discovered unlawfully, but is later obtained lawfully in a manner independent of the original discovery. Murray v. United States, 487 U.S. 533 (1988).
[B] Inevitable Discovery Rule

Evidence obtained illegally may be admissible in a criminal trial if the prosecutor proves by a...
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