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Warrants – Good-Faith Exception – Reliance on Judicial Decision

State v. Jeffrey L. Loranger, 2002 WI App 5, PFR filed 1/22/02For Loranger: Richard B. Jacobson, James C. Murray

Issue: Whether evidence illegally obtained through warrantless use of a thermal imaging device, in reliance on then-valid Wisconsin appellate court decision subsequently invalidated by a Supreme Court decision, must be suppressed.

Holding: Warrantless use of a thermal imaging device against Loranger must now clearly be regarded as a fourth amendment violation. Kyllo v. United States, 533 U.S. 27 (2001). However, at the time of this search, this sort of practice had been sanctioned under State v. McKee, 181 Wis. 2d 354, 510 N.W.2d 807 (Ct. App. 1993); therefore, the results of the search may not be suppressed under the reasoning of State v. Ward, 2000 WI 3, 231 Wis. 2d 723, 604 N.W.2d 517 — because the police relied in good faith on McKee, suppression would serve no remedial purpose. ¶14.

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