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Name: Herring v. United States
Case #: 07-513
Court: US Supreme Court
District USSup
Opinion Date: 01/14/2009
Subsequent History: 129 S.Ct. 695; 172 L.Ed.2d 496
Summary

Where a Fourth Amendment violation (unreasonable search or arrest) occurs as a result of a negligent mistake, attenuated from the arrest, the exclusionary rule does not apply. Appellant went to the sheriff’s department to obtain property from his impounded vehicle. Before releasing the property, the officer ran a warrant check and learned of an outstanding felony arrest warrant from a neighboring county. Appellant was arrested and searched incident to the arrest and found to be in possession of methamphetamine and a gun. Soon thereafter it was determined that the warrant had been recalled five months earlier but the information had not been entered into the database. Appellant’s motion to suppress was denied. The Supreme Court affirmed the denial observing that the exclusionary rule is not an individual right and applies only where it results in appreciable deterrence to flagrant police misconduct and the benefits of such deterrence must outweigh the costs of releasing a possibly dangerous defendant. Here, the sheriff acted in objectively reasonable reliance on the warrant, the failure to recall the warrant was negligence, and was not the result of systemic error or reckless disregard of constitutional protections, and there would be minimal deterrence resulting from suppression of evidence.