Select Page

Criminal Procedure: Investigation
University of Iowa School of Law
Seo, Sarah A.

FALL 2016
Fourth Amendment and Exclusionary Rule
Wolf v. Colorado: 14A due process clause does not prohibit admission of evidence obtained during an illegal search and seizure in State courts, even though such search and seizure renders it inadmissible in federal courts (Weeks v. United States).
What is implicit in the concept of ordered liberty is enforceable against the States through Due Process.
What is basic to our free society.
There are other remedies, and it is not up to the court to determine what States should and should not do.
Mapp v. Ohio: came to defendant’
Holding: evidence obtained by illegal searches and seizures is inadmissible in state courts.
Justification: deter and compel respect for 4A.
Weeks v. United States: forbade introduction of evidence if obtained by government officers through violation of the 4A.
Fourth Amendment is now applicable/incorporated to the States.
No other remedy for this.
All states previously opposed now for exclusionary rule.
No one should be convicted on unconstitutional evidence.
Good Faith Exception
United States v. Leon: officer applied for warrant after conducting surveillance on people—warrant was issued; discovered incriminating evidence at all locations; trial court found that the affidavit supporting application for a warrant was insufficient to establish probable cause.
Holding: evidence obtained based upon objectively reasonable reliance on a search warrant will not be suppressed just because the warrant was later deemed invalid.
No possible deterrence.
Not meant to punish magistrates issuing warrants.
Court’s methodology: cost/benefit analysis.
Implications of good faith exception:
Rubber-stamping, magistrate shopping, etc.
No definition of reasonableness for good faith.
Exceptions to the good faith exception:
Affiant lied or included reckless statements.
Magistrate wholly abandoned his judicial role (rubber-stamping).
Affidavit “so lacking in indicia of PC as to render official belief in its existence entirely unreasonable.”
Warrant is facially deficient, lacks particular place to be searched and items to be seized.
Heien v. North Carolina: officer saw a car with one busted light, and found drugs in the car; however, the police got the law wrong, and you actually needed two broken lights to be stopped.
Holding: courts allow good-faith mistake/misunderstanding of law for the exclusionary rule not to apply.
Herring v. United States: cops asked clerk if there was a warrant out for defendant’s arrest in next country—there was an erroneous record saying that there was, but it had really been recalled; arrested and found meth/gun.
Holding: when police mistakes are the result of negligence, rather than systemic error or reckless disregard of constitutional requirements, any marginal deterrence doesn’t pay its way.
Nonrecurring and attenuated negligence will not be deterred enough to be worth the cost of exclusion.
Exclusionary rule does not apply if:
Police conduct is not sufficiently deliberate that exclusion can meaningfully deter it.
Police conduct is not sufficiently culpable that deterrence is worth the price paid by justice system.
Objective, and not inquiry into subjective awareness of arresting officer.
Exceptions to the Fruit of the Poisonous Tree Doctrine
Independent source: allows admission of evidence that has been discovered by unconstitutional means if it has also been discovered by means wholly independent of any constitutional violation.
Applies to evidence that is identical to the illegally discovered evidence and the very evidence that was illegally discovered.
Inevitable discovery: evidence that has been discovered illegally may be admitted if the government can show it is more likely than not that it would have been obtained inevitably regardless of any overreaching by police.
Nix v. Williams: Christian Burial Case—second trial.
Holding: if the government can prove that illegally obtained evidence would have been obtained inevitably and, therefore, would have been admitted regardless of any overreaching by police, there is no rational basis to keep that evidence from the jury in order to ensure the fairness of the trial proceedings.
Burden of proof: state has to show by the preponderance of the evidence.
Has to show:
Police did not act in bad faith for the purpose of hastening discovery of the evidence in question.
The evidence in question would have been discovered by lawful means.
Attenuation doctrine: evidence with connection to the illegality that is so attenuated as to dissipate the taint of the illegality is admissible (temporal proximity; intervening circumstances; purpose and flagrancy of the misconduct).
Wong Sun v. United States: Hom Way was arrested for heroin possession—said he got it from “Blackie Toy”; cop went to James Wah Toy’s laundry business—chased him into his home and arrested him, didn’t find any drugs; Toy said Yee had been selling drugs—went to Yee’s house and Yee turned over drugs, said he got them from Wong Sun—searched Wong Sun’s house and found no drugs; Wong Sun was arraigned a day later and released; Toy, Yee, and Wong Sun were interrogated a few days later.
Holding: nothing is admissible against Toy because he was illegally arrested and his statements and the subsequent seizure of drugs from Yee were tainted by the illegality—the drugs were admissible against Wong Sun because none of his rights were violated and his statement was given voluntarily and adequately attenuated from the arrest.
Casual link between Wong Sun’s illegal arrest and his later confession is attenuated—not excluded.
But-for causation is not enough.
Utah v. Strieff:
Determining an intervening event to break causal chain:
Temporal proximity: how closely the discovery of evidence followed the unconstitutional search.
Consider the presence of intervening circumstances.
Examine the purpose and flagrancy of the official misconduct.
Three Interpretations of Reasonableness
Dictionary meaning (equal).
Requiring a warrant (reasonable and warrant).
Doesn’t have to be reasonable if there is a warrant (reasonable or a warrant).
General rule: for a SEARCH to be reasonable, you must have a warrant with probable cause.
Two Threshold Questions
Was the action in question a government action?
Party acts pursuant to a federal regulation.
A private party acts as an instrument to the government.
Expectation of Privacy: government action is a search

house with a drug-sniffing dog.Rule: Katz does not subtract anything from 4A protection of physical intrusion in protected area. Curtilage factors: Area’s proximity to the home.Existence of an enclosure around the area.Nature of the use to which the area is put.Precautions taken to exclude others from the area.Knocking theory: visitor can approach the home by front path, knock promptly, wait briefly, then leave.Scope of license: limited to particular area and to specific purpose. Relevant case law:United States v. Place: canine sniff of luggage at airport does not constitute a search within 4AIllinois v. Caballes: use of canine during traffic stop does not implicate privacy interests. Rodriguez v. United States: adding time to traffic stop to conduct a dog sniff violates 4A.
Probable Cause to Search: the facts and circumstances within the officer’s knowledge and of which they have reasonably trustworthy information are sufficient in themselves to warrant a man of reasonable caution in the belief that an item subject to seizure will be found in the place searched à a fair probability that…
Something that is properly subject to seizure by the government…
Is presently…
In the specific place to be searched.
Probable Cause< >Spinelli v. United States: informant on someone bookkeeping.Test for determining probable cause based on informant’s tip:Has to adequately reveal the basis of knowledge of the letter writer—the particular means by which he came by the information given in his report.Has to provide facts sufficiently establishing either the veracity of the affiant’s informant, or the reliability of the informant’s report in this particular case. Illinois v. Gates: handwritten letter from informant on the selling of drugs from FL to IL.New test for determining probable cause based on informant’s tip:Abandoned Spinelli test. Totality of the circumstances (traditionally has guided probable cause determinations). Test in Spinelli is still relevant; don’t have to view it independently from rest of information.Must have “good probability.” Maryland v. Pringle: wad of cash found in the glove department and five plastic baggies of cocaine.Test: totality of the circumstances. Common enterprise: a car passenger, unlike tavern patron, will often be engaged in a common enterprise with the driver, and have the same interest in concealing the fruits or evidence of their wrongdoing.
A car passenger will often be engaged in a common enterprise with the driver, and have the same interest in concealing fruits or evidence of their wrongdoing.
Ybarra v. Illinois: a person’s mere propinquity to others independently suspected of criminal activity does not, without more, give rise to probable cause to search that person.