Week 10 + Mini + notes
Evidence will not be excluded if it is obtained independently and without reliance of any illegal
Murray v. US (1988) – Federal agents was surveiling Murray and several others . They were seen
driving a tractor-trailer rig, which had a long dark container. They soon saw Murray turn over the
vehicles to other people, and the Federal agents lawfully arrested and seized the vehicles, and
found marijuana in them. This info had several agents go to a warehouse and force an entry.
They found the warehouse unoccupied, but saw bales, which they did not disturb. They got a
search warrant, without mentioning the previous raid, or any evidence form it, and then executed
the warrant, turning up more marijuana.
Dissent says that, this ruling would allow police to just go in and “confirm” what they are
looking for in a property is already there, without a warrant, then go through the hassle to get
warrant later to get it.
Independent Doctrine is : The interest of society in determining unlawful police conduct and the
public interest in having juries receive all probative evidence of a crime are properly balanced by
putting the police in the same, not a worse, position then they would have been in if no police
error or misconduct had occurred. 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.
Basically, if they did something illegal once, but legally the
second time, and having the 1
time not affect anything in the 2
time, then the exclusion rule
would not apply.
The theory that “the government must show that evidence
have been discovered through
legitimate independent means. Government must prove this based on preponderance (lower than
“beyond reasonable doubt”).
If evidence was
discovered through legitimate means, then
“independent source exception” would apply.
Nix v. Williams (1984) – William was convicted for murdering a 10 year old girl, and police
officers managed to obtain a statement from William, but violated his 6
amendment right to
counsel. The statement lead to the girl’s body. Government said that the search party would’ve
found the body anyways, the statement just made it easier (proved by a preponderance). Court
admitted evidence, because it was inevitably going to be discovered through legal means.
US v. Jackson – Defendant did not give voluntary consent to a search of his person, officers
would have inevitably conducted a terry frisk and uncovered crack cocaine in defendant’s
US v. Kennedy – Evidence discovered by airport police in an illegal search of lost luggage was
properly admitted, because if they just returned the lost luggage to the airline, the airline would
open it via policy to determine the identity of the owner.
Inevitable Discovery Through a Hypothetical Inventory Search