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Supreme Court rules prosecutors can use evidence collected illegally


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  • Supreme Court rules prosecutors can use evidence collected illegally

    In an article from USA Today:


    "In a victory for law enforcement, the Supreme Court has ruled that prosecutors can, in some instances, use evidence obtained from illegal police searches.

    USA TODAY's Joan Biskupic explains the ruling on the exclusionary rule, which upheld an Alabama man's conviction on drug and weapon charges:

    When police mistakes leading to an unlawful search arise from "negligence … rather than systematic error or reckless disregard of constitutional requirements," evidence need not be kept from trial, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the majority. Roberts was joined by the four other conservative justices.

    The four liberals dissented. They said that because the search violated the Fourth Amendment, the evidence should have been excluded.

    "The most serious impact of the court's holding will be on innocent persons wrongfully arrested based on erroneous information carelessly maintained in a computer database," Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote for dissenters.

    The New York Times writes that the decision will most likely please those who complain about criminals going free on “technicalities” and alarm those who fear that the high court is looking for ways to narrow the reach of the exclusionary rule.

    Anybody care to comment on this decision? Athough the Fourth Amendment protects us from unlawful searches and siezures, I think under certain circumstances, as stated above, making an exception would make the most sense. Discipline the officer for being neglegent; don't take it out on a case that could very clearly be won with this evidence, had it been collected properly. I believe a similiar point of view is practiced in Europe (possibly England?) where the evidence is allowed and the officer is then disciplined.
    What we do does not define who we are. What defines us is how well we rise after falling.

    The original "point and click" interface was a Smith and Wesson

  • #2
    Just saw this now, but that is a very very slippery slope.


    • #3
      Very scary implications.


      • #4
        I think it is a great ruling! It doesn't support or say it will support evidence gained illegally. It says it will not exclude evidence just because of small paperwork errors or things of the sort. Pretty much, an officer working a double and making a simple mistake on something due to fatigue or simple error will not let a murderer or drug dealer go free. This hardly makes up for Gitmo getting shut down, but it's a plus imo.


        • #5
          I think this a great ruling. However, I will not give my hopes up because there are so many worthless ASA's out there that nolle pros everything short of a slam dunk, then take a slam dunk and plea down to the most bare minimum of wrist slaps out there.


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