Exclusionary Rule: A Case Study

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(D) Even if this Court finds that the initial search and seizure is illegal under the Fourth Amendment, Evidence of the Suicide Note is still Admissible through the Attenuation Doctrine, as an Exception to the Exclusionary Rule

The “fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine” is an exclusionary rule designed to deter police misconduct that prohibits the introduction of evidence that is causally connected to an unlawful search. (People v. Navarro (App. 2 Dist. 2006) 41 Cal.Rptr.3d 164.) The defendant has the initial burden to establish cause and effect, showing that there is a connection between the evidence changed and primary illegality. (People v. Cella (App. 4 Dist. 1983) 188 Cal.Rptr. 675.) A breaking in the causal link between the initial illegal search and seizure and a subsequent search and seizure, allows the subsequent evidence to be admitted. (Id.) In Thomas, although the arrest triggered surveillance of the defendant and ultimate issuance warrant without a search was found to be illegal, because officers later made an arrest search a warrant, obtained through independent acts, made the search of the defendant’s apartment found to not be “poisoned fruit.” (People v. Thomas (App
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First, Officer Ferguson conducted the search and seizure of the suicide note after an independent investigation separate from the initial search. (PR.) Although it is unclear how much time passed between the initial search and final search, because only after taking Mr. Meyers to the police station, then Mr. Meyers’ Miranda rights, a complete interrogation, and consent from Mr. Meyers, did Officer Ferguson seized the note. (PR.) Therefore, the exclusionary rule applies to the present and based on the attenuation doctrine, evidence of the suicide note should not be

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