The Exclusionary Rule Self-Quiz








Daniel is on trial for possession of marijuana which was found in his home when a warrant was issued and a search conducted. Daniel claims that there was insufficient evidence to establish probable cause to support the search warrant, and that the warrant was therefore invalid. Which of the following is the prosecution’s best response to Daniel’s argument?
Choice 1 Even if the search warrant was initially insufficiently supported by probable cause, the fact that drugs were in fact found makes it irrelevant, as the unsupported assertions proved to be correct.
Choice 2 Even if the search warrant was initially insufficiently supported by probable cause, if the officer conducting the search did so in good faith believing the warrant was valid, the evidence will not be excluded.
Choice 3 Even if the search warrant was initially insufficiently supported by probable cause, Daniel should have contested the warrant when it was served and refused to permit the officers entrance to his home.
Choice 4 Whether or not a search warrant is properly supported by probable cause is not an issue which can be raised to exclude evidence in a criminal trial, but can only be raised on appeal if the Defendant is convicted.
Officer Fier dislikes his daughter’s boyfriend, Chas, and is looking for a way to get rid of the kid. He requests a search warrant for Chas’ trailer home from Judge Giles. To establish probable cause, Fier provides Judge Giles with a properly executed but untruthful affidavit stating that he witnessed Chas selling stolen blenders from the trailer. Judge Giles issues the warrant and Fier conducts a vigorous search during which he discovers one partially burnt marijuana cigarette. Chas is roughly cuffed and arrested, the evidence seized. At trial a judge is likely to:
Choice 1 Allow the evidence of the marijuana because it was discovered during a search pursuant to a warrant.
Choice 2 Allow the evidence of the marijuana because the state’s “zero tolerance” law requires Judges to consider only the presence or absence of illegal drugs and not the quantity.
Choice 3 Exclude the evidence of the marijuana because Judge Giles should have known that the affidavit was false.
Choice 4 Exclude the evidence because Officer Fier should have known that the warrant was invalid.
Drake is a well-known drug dealer in the neighborhood. While he is away on vacation Officer Downey breaks into his home and takes pictures of his indoor marijuana plants, leaving no evidence of having illegally entered the abode. Later that month Drake is arrested for selling cocaine. When Officer Downey calls Prosecutor Able and offers his incriminating evidence, Able starts screaming profanities, says something about “useless garbage,” and hangs up. Has Prosecutor Able just cut herself off from a source of useful evidence in the case against Downey?
Choice 1 No, because evidence of one illegal substance cannot be used in a Defendant’s trial for selling a different substance.
Choice 2 No, because the evidence is covered by the Exclusionary Rule,
Choice 3 Yes, because the photographs tend to show Downey’s criminal nature.
Choice 4 Yes, because the fruits of the illegal search were not used for purposes of arresting Downey.
Grant O. Deliverer regularly engages in the illegal interstate transportation of stolen goods. Officer Speedy surreptitiously breaks into the back of Grant’s truck and hides there, intending to inventory the goods loaded and unloaded from the vehicle to use as evidence against Deliverer. While in hiding, Officer Speedy overhears Deliverer agree to commit a murder-for-hire. Afraid to leave the truck, Officer Speedy is unable to prevent the murder. At Deliverer’s murder trial the evidence overheard by Speedy will be:
Choice 1 Excluded, as Fruits of the Poisonous Tree.
Choice 2 Excluded, as mere voice recognition is insufficient to identify a perpetrator.
Choice 3 Permitted, because it is a separate crime from the acts that Speedy was illegally investigating.
Choice 4 Permitted, because the socially disruptive nature of the crime of murder-for-hire outweighs Fourth Amendment concerns.

The police perform an illegal search of Peter’s home and find drugs as well as a large, metal box full of keys. Most of the keys are not labeled, and therefore of little use in further investigation. One key, however, has a paper tag attached to it. The tag is from the Lo-Down Self-Storage Co., and has the number 317 written on it. The police visit the owner of Lo-Down Self-Storage and ask permission to enter the premises for the purpose of using the key to discover the contents of the locker. They are given permission. Upon opening the locker they find a portable drug lab. Is the drug lab evidence admissible against Peter?
Choice 1 Yes, because the owner of Lo-Down gave permission to search.
Choice 2 Yes, because once incarcerated on the other charges Peter would likely let his rent go unpaid, and the lab would have been discovered at that time.
Choice 3 No, because the key was the result of an illegal search.
Choice 4 No, because the owner of Lo-Down was not told that the key was the result of an illegal search before giving police permission to enter the property.

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