4th Amendment Police Mistake Leading to Search Is Upheld

john_g_roberts_jr-photograph1Here is a summary of the facts. This man Mr. Herring goes to the local Sheriff’s office see: http://www.coffeesheriff.com/ to retrieve his truck. Apparently the local police know him. He gets his truck and leaves the police station. The Sheriff’s in the interim do a computer check and the adjoining county inform them he has an open warrant for his arrest. The Sheriff’s pull him over lock him up based upon what they think is a valid warrant. They search him pursuant to what later turns out to be an improper arrest, and recover a gun and drugs. They receive a phone call from the county which told them Herring was subject to arrest, and they are told “OOOOPS, that warrant is not in effect.

The issue;  ; Are illegal weapons and contraband  recovered on a person inadmissible when the initial  police arrest mistakenly believed they had probable cause to arrest the individual when in fact no probable cause to arrest was present.

The Court held and now made Rule of Law: ” “When police mistakes leading to an unlawful search are the result of isolated negligence attenuated from the search, rather than systemic error or reckless disregard of constitutional requirements, the exclusionary rule does not apply,” Chief Justice Roberts . For the Bibliograaphy of Justice Roberts See http://www.oyez.org/justices/john_g_roberts_jr/

For the New York Times Story, See http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/15/washington/15scotus.html?partner=permalink&exprod=permalink For the Oyez summary see http://www.oyez.org/cases/2000-2009/2008/2008_07_513/ 

The case is Herring v The United States. The official decision may be read at http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/08pdf/07-513.pdf

Cornell School of Law Summary :http://topics.law.cornell.edu/supct/cert/07-513

The Losing Attorney J. Fischer Stanford Law see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeffrey_L._Fisher

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