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Warrants – Good-Faith Exception

State v. Rayshun D. Eason, 2001 WI 98, reversing State v. Rayshun D. Eason, 2000 WI App 73, 234 Wis. 2d 396, 610 N.W.2d 208
For Eason: Suzanne Hagopian, SPD, Madison Appellate

Issue: Whether evidence obtained after entry of a home in violation of the announcement rule, because authorization was provided by an invalid no-knock warrant, is nonetheless admissible under the good-faith exception to the warrant requirement.

Holding:

¶2. However, we conclude that the evidence should not be suppressed even though the no-knock portion of the warrant was invalid. Although the exclusionary rule typically operates to exclude evidence obtained from unreasonable searches and seizures–and a search based upon an invalid search warrant is per se unreasonable–there are exceptions. Here, because the police officers acted in objectively reasonable reliance upon the search warrant, which had been issued by a detached and neutral magistrate, the laudable purpose of the exclusionary rule–deterring police from making illegal searches and seizures–would not be furthered by applying the exclusionary rule. Accordingly, we recognize a good faith exception to the exclusionary rule.¶3. We hold that the good faith exception applies where the State has shown, objectively, that the police officers reasonably relied upon a warrant issued by an independent magistrate. The burden is upon the State to also 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. We hold that this process is required by Article I, Section 11 of the Wisconsin Constitution, in addition to those protections afforded by the good faith exception as recognized by the United States Supreme Court in United States v. Leon, 468 U.S. 897 (1984). Accordingly, we reverse the court of appeals decision that affirmed the circuit court’s order suppressing the evidence, and remand the case to the circuit court for further proceedings.

¶74. Accordingly, we adopt a good faith exception to the exclusionary rule. We hold that where police officers act in objectively reasonable reliance upon the warrant, which had been issued by a detached and neutral magistrate, a good faith exception to the exclusionary rule applies. We further hold that in order for a good faith exception to apply, the burden is upon 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. We also hold that this process is required by Article I, Section 11 of the Wisconsin Constitution, in addition to those protections afforded by the good faith exception as recognized by the United States Supreme Court in United States v. Leon, 468 U.S. 897 (1984).

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