Exception: Independent Source

  1. militarydefenselawyers289General rule. Evidence discovered through a source independent of the illegality is admissible.
    1. Murray v. United States , 487 U.S. 533 (1988). Police illegally entered warehouse without warrant and saw marijuana. Police left warehouse without disturbing evidence and obtained warrant without telling judge about earlier illegal entry. Evidence was admissible because it was obtained with warrant untainted by initial illegality.
    2. Rationale. Police should not be put in worse position than they would have been in absent their improper conduct.
  2. Evidence obtained through independent and voluntary acts of third parties will render evidence admissible under independent-source doctrine. See
    United States v. Fogg , 52 M.J. 144, 151 (C.A.A.F. 1999) (discussing independent-source doctrine as alternative basis for not invoking the exclusionary rule).
  3. Search based on both legally and illegally obtained evidence. United States v. Camanga , 38 M.J. 249 (C.M.A. 1993). Independent source doctrine applied where affidavit supporting search authorization contained both legally and illegally obtained evidence. After excising illegal information, court found remaining information sufficient to establish probable cause.
  4. Mil. R. Evid. 311(e)(2). Evidence challenged as derived from an illegal search or seizure may be admitted if the military judge finds by a preponderance of evidence that it was not obtained as a result of the unlawful search or seizure.

Murray v. United States

Mil. R. Evid