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Criminal Procedure Outline - Professor Fields - Campbell Law - Part 7

By Miller Moreau
Professor Fields - 2021

Download the PDF version of this outline

<< Part 6 | Part 8 >>

k. Remedies for 4th Amendment Violations

i. The Exclusionary Rule

  1. Wolf v. California: While the 4th am applies to the states, it does not mandate the exclusion of evidence unlawfully seized evidence
    1. Remedy is not in text of Constitution, judicially created
    2. Exclusion not the majority rule
    3. Goal of exclusion (deterrence) available through other means: Discipline and private action
    4. Dissent: there’s no other remedy to achieve deterrence—absent exclusion, 4th am has no consequence
      1. After Wolf: Unlawfully seized evidence excluded in federal court, admissible in state court
  2. Mapp v. Ohio: Wolf is overturned—4th am requires exclusion of evidence seized unlawfully in state court
    1. Rationale:
      1. Times have changed
      2. Court had whittled away Wolfe
        1. “silver platter”
        2. States and feds working together
      3. Meaning and significance to 4th am
      4. Ensures deterrence: “purpose of the exclusionary rule is to deter—to compel respect for the constitutional guarantee in the only effectively available way—by removing the incentive to disregard it”
      5. Comparable to coerced confessions
      6. Rule hasn’t destroyed federal investigations

ii. The Exclusionary Rule—Standing and Scope

  1. Wong Sun v. US
    1. “we need not hold that all evidence is fruit of the poisonous tree simply because it would have come to light but for the illegal actions”
    2. Whether, granting establishment of the primary illegality, the evidence to which instant objection is made has been come at by exploitation of that illegality or instead by means sufficiently distinguishable, to be purged of the primary taint”
    3. Significant for derivative/fruit of the poisonous tree
      1. But for: But for the constitutional violation, would the evidence have been discovered?
      2. Proximate cause: “But for” cause may be too attenuated
  2. Exclusionary rule applies to federal govt and the states—evidence obtained in violation of the 4th am will be excluded in trial
  3. Fruit of the poisonous tree: Applies when evidence is derivative of a constitutional violation
    1. Generally, looks at “but for” causation and proximate cause
    2. In other words, is the evidence in question derived from an exploitation of the violation or by means sufficiently distinguishable
l. Exclusionary rule: Standing and scope

i. US v. Byrd: We know that Byrd has standing to claim a Constitutional violation by deciding whether he had a reasonable expectation of privacy in a rental vehicle where he’s not the owner & isn’t listed on rental agreement (he does)

ii. Murray v. US

    1. Issue: whether evidence obtained from an independent source, in conjunction with an unlawful search, is admissible
    2. Holding: independent source doctrine applies to both evidence obtained for the first time during independent lawful search, and also to evidence initially discovered during, or as consequence of unlawful search
    3. Independent source:
      1. Allows admission of evidence that has been discovered by means wholly independent of any constitutional violation
      2. Ultimate question is whether the search pursuant to warrant was in fact a genuinely independent source of the info and tangible evidence
        1. Rationale: when the challenged evidence has an independent source, exclusion of such evidence would put the police in a worse position than they would have been in absent any error or violation
      3. Limitations: if basis for warrant was what they saw during the illegal search or what was presented to the magistrate
  1. Nix v. Williams. Inevitable discovery: If the prosecution can establish by a preponderance of the evidence that the info ultimately or inevitably would have been discovered by lawful means, then it is admissible, despite the constitutional violation
    1. Good or bad faith doesn’t matter
  2. US v. Leon. Good faith exception: When law enforcement acts in good faith (meaning they have an objectively reasonable belief that the warrant was valid) evidence will not be excluded, even if warrant was later found to be invalid
    1. Exclusion is on a case-by-case basis—only when exclusion serves deterrence
    2. As remedy, apply only where its remedial objectives (deter police misconduct) are best served. Exclusion in this situation would not deter police conduct (misconduct here is not police, but the magistrate and no empirical evidence) therefore, exclusion not appropriate
    3. Significance: Exclusionary rule is not absolute (or per se) but applied on a case-by-case basis, asking: Will excluding this evidence deter similar police misconduct?
      1. Later applied to other good faith mistaken beliefs (bad statutes and bad caselaw)
    4. Law enforcement belief that warrant was valid must be objectively reasonable
      1. “Our good faith inquiry is confined to the objectively ascertainable question whether a reasonably well-trained officer would have known that the search was illegal despite the magistrate’s authorization
      2. Two noted exceptions
        1. Law enforcement lies or misleads to get warrant
        2. Magistrate abandoned role
  3. Hudson v. Michigan: Exclusionary rule does not apply to knock-and-announce violations
    1. Exclusionary rule only applicable where its remedial measures are thought most efficaciously served—that is, where its deterrence benefits outweigh its substantial social costs
    2. (BALANCING) Social costs of excluding this evidence outweighs deterrence
      1. Harms: letting guilty people go free; extensive litigation, police refraining from timely entry after knocking/announcing
      2. Deterrent effect of exclusion: other remedies available (1983 and police discipline), deterring knock/announcing violations not worth a lot—such a low bar for police to get over
  4. Herring v. US (whether evidence obtained as a result of a negligent bookkeeping error should be excluded): No, law enforcement had an objectively reasonable belief that there was a valid arrest warrant and relied on that to obtain evidence
    1. In looking at deterrent effect, look at extent of police misconduct
    2. Balancing: Social harms of exclusionary rule (letting guilty people go free) versus deterrent effect of exclusion: (rule serves to deter deliberate, reckless, or grossly negligent misconduct, or in some circumstances recurring or systematic negligence)

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