United States v. Henderson 9thCIR 23OCT2018

United States v. Henderson 9thCIR 23OCT2018

The defendant in this case sought to exclude evidence obtained pursuant to a Network Investigative Technique (NIT) warrant arguing the magistrate improperly authorized a search outside of the magistrate’s territorial jurisdiction. The court held that the good faith exception to the exclusionary rule applied to bar suppression of the evidence obtained against the defendant pursuant to the NIT warrant. The court rejected the defendant’s contention that the good faith exception does not apply to warrants that are void ab initio.  Since there was no evidence that the officers executing the NIT warrant acted in bad faith; and that suppression of the evidence against the defendant is unlikely to deter future violations of this specific kind, the court declined to impose the exclusionary rule.

This case offers a good reminder that the primary purpose of the judicially-created “Exclusionary Rule” is to deter police misconduct by excluding the fruits of the misconduct (evidence seized in violation of the Fourth Amendment).  If the officers have “clean hands” and do not act in bad faith and reasonably rely on a warrant, then the evidence seized pursuant to the execution of that warrant will not be excluded.

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