skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 134475 Find in a Library
Title: Saving Illegally Obtained Evidence
Journal: Law Enforcement Quarterly  Dated:(February-April 1992)  Pages:15-18,39
Author(s): R C Phillips
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 5
Type: Training (Aid/Material)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Three exceptions to the exclusionary rule are "attenuation of the taint," "independent source," and "inevitable discovery."
Abstract: The exclusionary rule mandates that evidence seized as a product of unlawful police activity, absent some exception, is not admissible in court. Evidence subject to suppression as a result of fourth (search and seizure), fifth (self-incrimination), or sixth (right to assistance of counsel) amendment violations include not only what was seized or discovered in the course of the unlawful conduct, but anything that was subsequently obtained as a product of the illegal action. One exception to the exclusionary rule involves "attenuation of the taint." If there are intervening factors, such as a significant amount of time or actions by the defendant or third parties, a court must analyze those factors to determine whether the "taint" (illegal police activity) has become so far "attenuated" from the eventual discovery of evidence subject to being suppressed that it serves no legitimate purpose to suppress it. Another exception to the exclusionary rule involves an "independent source" for the evidence illegally obtained. This doctrine allows the admission of evidence that may have been obtained illegally by police if that same evidence was also obtained legally by another means. A third exception to the exclusionary rule concerns "inevitable discovery." This doctrine provides that evidence found due to a constitutional violation is admissible if it would have been inevitably discovered lawfully. This is a valid exception only if the inevitable discovery would have occurred through means other than the proper securing of a search warrant. 61 footnotes
Main Term(s): Exceptions to exclusionary rule
Index Term(s): Exclusionary rule; Police legal limitations
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.