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Home / Case Digests / 98-2595-CR State v. Eason

98-2595-CR State v. Eason

“In the 17 years since Leon became law, there is no evidence here, and none has been offered, that the good faith exception has given rise to increased police abuse or oppression… [W]e find that Article I, Section 11 of the Wisconsin Constitution guarantees more protection than the Fourth Amendment provides under the good faith exception as adopted in Leon.”

“According to one scholar of the good faith exception, ‘well- trained officers would not seek a warrant without (1) significant independent investigation and (2) internal screening by a police superior or a government lawyer.’ Dripps, 95 Yale L.J. at 932. This is not an onerous or unreasonable requirement. Accordingly, we require that in order for the good faith exception to apply, the State must show that the process used attendant to obtaining the search warrant included a significant investigation and a review by a police officer trained in, or very knowledgeable of, the legal vagaries of probable cause and reasonable suspicion, or a knowledgeable government attorney.”

Reversed and remanded.

DISSENTING OPINION: Abrahamson, C.J “I disagree with the adoption of this special good faith exception grounded in the Wisconsin Constitution for four reasons: (1) the majority opinion is disingenuous in requiring the State to show ‘that the process used in obtaining the search warrant included a significant investigation and a review by either a police officer trained and knowledgeable in the requirements of probable cause and reasonable suspicion, or a knowledgeable government attorney’ (2) the exception betrays Wisconsin’s long-standing commitment to excluding illegally seized evidence from use at trial; (3) the majority opinion’s focus on deterring individual police misconduct mischaracterizes the nature of constitutional violations and ignores the role of magistrates, prosecutors, and judges, both trial and appellate, in protecting constitutional rights; and (4) the majority’s cost-benefit analysis is inappropriate in the constitutional context and unpersuasive in its results.”

Crooks, J.

Attorneys:

For Appellant: Stephen W. Kleinmaier, James E. Doyle, Madison

For Respondent: Suzanne Hagopian, Madison


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