Arizona v. Evans, 514 U.S. 1, 13 (1995)

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Cite as: 514 U. S. 1 (1995)

Opinion of the Court

Respondent also argues that Whiteley v. Warden, Wyo. State Penitentiary, 401 U. S. 560 (1971), compels exclusion of the evidence. In Whiteley, the Court determined that the Fourth Amendment had been violated when police officers arrested Whiteley and recovered inculpatory evidence based upon a radio report that two suspects had been involved in two robberies. Id., at 568-569. Although the "police were entitled to act on the strength of the radio bulletin," the Court determined that there had been a Fourth Amendment violation because the initial complaint, upon which the arrest warrant and subsequent radio bulletin were based, was insufficient to support an independent judicial assessment of probable cause. Id., at 568. The Court concluded that "an otherwise illegal arrest cannot be insulated from challenge by the decision of the instigating officer to rely on fellow officers to make the arrest." Ibid. Because the "arrest violated [Whiteley's] constitutional rights under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments; the evidence secured as an incident thereto should have been excluded from his trial. Mapp v. Ohio, 367 U. S. 643 (1961)." Id., at 568-569.

Although Whiteley clearly retains relevance in determining whether police officers have violated the Fourth Amendment, see Hensley, supra, at 230-231, its precedential value regarding application of the exclusionary rule is dubious. In Whiteley, the Court treated identification of a Fourth Amendment violation as synonymous with application of the exclusionary rule to evidence secured incident to that violation. 401 U. S., at 568-569. Subsequent case law has rejected this reflexive application of the exclusionary rule. Cf. Illinois v. Krull, 480 U. S. 340 (1987); Sheppard, supra; United States v. Leon, 468 U. S. 897 (1984); United States v. Calandra, 414 U. S. 338 (1974). These later cases have emphasized that the issue of exclusion is separate from whether the Fourth Amendment has been violated, see, e. g., Leon, supra, at 906, and exclusion is appropriate only if the


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