The Supreme Court has ruled by 5-4 split decision that the exclusionary rule, which bars evidence obtained in an illegal search, is not absolute. The case in question, Herring v. U.S., involved a police officer, Mark Anderson, who executed a warrant to arrest Bennie Dean Herring, (described by the Times as "very unlucky as well as felonious in his conduct,") who had previous run-ins with the law and was at the Sherriff's department to retrieve items from his impounded car. A search turned up a gun and metamphatamines in Herring's possession.
The warrant had actually expired several months earlier, so the search was illegal even though Anderson had made an honest mistake. Evidence illegally obtained is usually inadmissible. But with the court's decision, under circumstances such as the one above, this won't be the case...read on
The one limitation on the Court’s opinion — and it will be the key to determining whether it reworks Fourth Amendment jurisprudence very significantly — is the Court’s statement that its rule applies to police conduct “attenuated from the arrest.” Those statements constrain today’s holding largely to the bounds of existing law. But the logic of the decision spans far more broadly, and the next logical step — which I predict is 2 years away — is abandoning the “attentuation” reference altogether...read on