Saturday, November 2, 2013

Herring v. United States case brief

Herring v. United States case brief summary
129 S. Ct. 695 (2009)

Defendant's motion to suppress evidence, which was based on the ground that his initial arrest was illegal because the warrant had been rescinded, was denied. The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the decision, holding that the evidence was admissible under the good faith rule. The petition for certiorari was granted to resolve a conflict among the circuits.

The lower court concluded that the error in failing to update the computer database to reflect the recall of the arrest warrant was negligent, not reckless or deliberate. That negligent error was not enough, by itself to require the extreme sanction of exclusion under the Fourth Amendment. Assuming that a Fourth Amendment violation occurred when defendant was arrested on the recalled arrest warrant, the exclusionary rule did not apply as the error that occurred arose from nonrecurring and attenuated negligence. It was far removed from the core concerns that led to the exclusionary rule's adoption. To trigger the exclusionary rule, police conduct had to be sufficiently deliberate such that exclusion could meaningfully deter it, and sufficiently culpable that such deterrence was worth the price paid by the justice system. In this case, the miscommunications were not routine or widespread; they were not so objectively culpable as to require exclusion.


The judgment was affirmed. 5-4 Decision; 2 Dissents.

Recommended Supplements for Criminal Procedure Criminal Procedure: Examples & Explanations, Sixth Edition
Emanuel Law Outline: Criminal Procedure

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