U.S. Supreme Court

Supreme Court to Hear Exclusionary Rule Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether evidence may be admitted at trial if it was obtained from an arrest based on mistaken information from police files.

Police arrested Bennie Dean Herring under what they thought was an outstanding warrant for his arrest. Their search found methamphetamine in Herring’s pockets and an unloaded gun in his truck, the Associated Press reports. They later learned that the warrant had been recalled five months earlier.

At issue is whether evidence must be excluded if it is obtained because of a negligent error by law enforcement personnel, according to the cert petition in the case, Herring v. United States (PDF posted by SCOTUSblog).

The Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had refused to suppress the evidence, saying doing so would have little deterrent effect on sloppy record-keeping.

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