CASE SCENARIO 4
The search carried out in Raul’s home and on his person violated the 4th amendment. Concerning the totality of the circumstances test, there was no probable cause to issue the search warrant, and thus the evidence obtained should not be used in a court. The police officer, Gilbert Caesar, came to learn of Raul Franco’s activities from the subject he was driving to jail. The police officer did not find Raul engaging in any drug-related activities at the time when he came to know about Raul, meaning, there was no reason to suspect Raul of the illegal dealings. The subject said that his wife bought heroine from Raul. There is no statement from the wife confirming that she indeed bought the substance from the accused. Also, Raul was not in possession of heroin when he was arrested. The fact that Raul was not in possession of heroin when he was detained questions the validity of CRI-1’s statement, which indicated that Raul sold the substance. CRI-2 statement regarding how Raul treated two visitors in his house does not lead to reasonable suspicion of an illegal undertaking. The informant did not provide enough evidence to suggest that when the visitors went to another room together with Raul and Mildred, that the sale of drugs took place. Methamphetamine is a controlled drug, and the police do not provide details of the quantities of the substance found on Raul. Based on Aguilar-Spinelli Doctrine, there is no evidence to explain the reliability of the information received from the informers’. The lack of probable cause is further backed up by the fact that Raul did not engage in any activity to suggest he was dealing in drugs. Also, the police did not carry surveillance on Raul to gather information on whether his movements or undertakings suggested he engaged in criminal activities. (Moore, 1983, pg.1260)
The prosecution can argue that the informers were interviewed at different times thus removing any bias in the information. Also, it is not a coincidence that all the informers gave almost similar information regarding Raul’s involvement in the sale of drugs. One of the informers confirmed that Raul sold his wife heroin meaning the informer was aware of Raul’s illegal activities. Past records showed that CRI-2 had given information to law enforcers and the statements were used in criminal cases. Since the officers properly executed the warrant, the evidence obtained after the search should be admitted during a court ruling. Also, since there was no proof to suggest that the police officers carried out their duties illegally, the exclusionary rule does not apply in the situation.
The exclusionary rule explains that evidence obtained illegally cannot be used in a court of law as the process by which the evidence was obtained, was in violation of the constitution. However, when in acquiring the evidence, it is established that the police officers acted in good faith, then an exemption is provided for the exclusionary law known as the good-faith exception. The fourth amendment interprets privacy rights regarding the collection of evidence by law enforcers. When the process violates these rights, but the officers are found to have acted in good faith, then the evidence obtained is used during a trial. In Raul’s case, the good faith exception is applicable because though most of the information gathered regarding his drug activities was from informers, the law officers sought a search warrant to allow them to carry a search in Raul’s residence and on his person. Nowhere did police officers conduct surveillance on Raul to establish whether there was a reason to believe he engaged in illegal activities. However, they did not rush to arrest him instead the police sought a warrant meaning they acted in good-faith. ("United States v. Leon | US Law | LII / Legal Information Institute," n.d.)
Moore, C. E.(1983). Fourth Amendment: Totality of the Circumstances Approach toProbable Cause Based on Informant`s Tips. The Journal of CriminalLaw and Criminology (1973-), 74(4), 1249-1264.doi:10.2307/1143051
UnitedStates v. Leon | US Law | LII / Legal Information Institute. (n.d.).Retrieved from https://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/468/897