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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Herring v. United States: No Exclusionary Rule for Negligent Police Error

Officers in one jurisdiction checked with employees of a law enforcement agency in another jurisdiction and were told that there is an outstanding warrant for an individual. Acting in good faith on that information the officers arrest the person and find contraband. It turns out the warrant had been recalled. The erroneous information that led to the arrest and search is the result of a good faith mistake by an employee of the agency in the other jurisdiction. The Supreme Court held that the Fourth Amendment does not require suppression of evidence obtained pursuant to a search incident to arrest, despite the fact that the arrest itself violated the Fourth Amendment because it was based on negligent police error.