Criminal Procedure — excessive force — exclusionary rule
The exclusionary rule is not a remedy for an arresting officer’s use of excessive force, without causation.
“As there is no causal relationship between the alleged use of unreasonable force and the evidence sought to be suppressed, Herr’s suggested remedy would ill serve our legal system. Deterring police misconduct is an important goal, but not one that should necessarily be pursued at the expense of bringing criminals to justice. See Felix, 339 Wis. 2d 670, ¶39. The exclusionary rule is an extraordinary remedy that exacts ‘substantial social costs,’ including potentially releasing guilty and dangerous criminals into our communities and impairing the truth-seeking objectives of our legal system. See Hudson, 547 U.S. at 591. “Suppression of evidence … has always been our last resort, not our first impulse.” Id. Even though the threat that evidence may be suppressed may deter some police officers from using unreasonable force in carrying out otherwise lawful seizures, ‘[t]he Fourth Amendment does not require courts to exclude all evidence or forgo prosecuting a defendant following unlawful police conduct.’ Felix, 339 Wis. 2d 670, ¶40. As the evidence Herr seeks to suppress was not causally related to the alleged use of unreasonable force, we affirm the decision of the circuit court and Herr’s conviction.”
Recommended for publication in the official reports.
2012AP935-CR State v. Herr
Dist. II, Sheboygan County, Van Akkeren, J., Reilly, J.
Attorneys: For Appellant: Obear, Kirk B., Sheboygan; Ahmad, Aneeq, Sheboygan; For Respondent: Kassel, Jeffrey J., Madison; DeCecco, Joseph R., Sheboygan