Written by attorney Robert Walter Dapelo

Inevitable Discovery Rule in New York State

Nor can the admission of the shield case, the shield, or the card be justified on the basis of the so-called "inevitable discovery rule": that is, that the evidence sought to be suppressed would have been discovered irrespective of the initial wrong. The inevitable discovery rule does not apply where the evidence sought to be suppressed is the very evidence obtained in the illegal search. People v. Stith, 69 N.Y.2d 313, 318 (1987). Rather, it applies only to secondary evidence, i.e., evidence obtained by exploiting the evidence directly resulting from the illegal search. Id. at 318-319; see, e.g., People v. Payton, 45 N.Y.2d 300, 313-314 (1978)(declining to suppress information obtained by tracing sales slip found in the initial illegal search).

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