CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Block on Information Sharing and Tainted Evidence

Micah Block has published The New Silver Platter: How Today's Police are Serving up Potentially Tainted Evidence Without Even Revealing the Search that Produced It to Defendants or to Courts at The Legal Workshop. An excerpt:

[T]he availability of the hand off threatens to alter fine judgments about what constitutes good, aggressive police work and what constitutes an unreasonable invasion of privacy. It does this in at least two ways. First, the hand off makes it easier to “get away with” marginally invasive behavior because that behavior is unlikely to be scrutinized by a judge. Even for the honest officer, this may subtly influence decisions about how much marginal activity to conduct, or how to conduct marginal activity. But perhaps more importantly, if the officer believes that the hand off legally cleanses evidence obtained in a prior investigation that may or may not have been unlawful, then the officer is given to believe that under the Fourth Amendment what a suspect doesn’t know doesn’t hurt him.

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