Arizona v. Evans, 514 U.S. 1, 21 (1995)

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

Stevens, J., dissenting

The Phoenix Police Department was part of the chain of information that resulted in respondent's unlawful, warrantless arrest. We should reasonably presume that law enforcement officials, who stand in the best position to monitor such errors as occurred here, can influence mundane communication procedures in order to prevent those errors. That presumption comports with the notion that the exclusionary rule exists to deter future police misconduct systemically. See, e. g., Stone v. Powell, 428 U. S. 465, 492 (1976); Dunaway v. New York, 442 U. S. 200, 221 (1979) (Stevens, J., concurring); see generally Kamisar, 16 Creighton L. Rev., at 659- 662; Stewart, 83 Colum. L. Rev., at 1400. The deterrent purpose extends to law enforcement as a whole, not merely to "the arresting officer." Compare ante, at 15, with Whiteley v. Warden, Wyo. State Penitentiary, 401 U. S. 560, 568 (1971). Consequently, the Phoenix officers' good faith does not diminish the deterrent value of invalidating their arrest of respondent.

The Court seeks to minimize the impact of its holding on the security of the citizen by referring to the testimony of the Chief Clerk of the East Phoenix Number One Justice Court that in her "particular court" this type of error occurred " 'maybe on[c]e every three or four years.' " See ante, at 15. Apart from the fact that the Clerk promptly contradicted herself,3 see post, at 28, this is slim evidence

3 "Q. In your eight years as a chief clerk with the Justice of the Peace, have there been other occasions where a warrant was quashed but the police were not notified?

"A. That does happen on rare occasions. "Q. And when you say rare occasions, about how many times in your eight years as chief clerk?

"A. In my particular court, they would be like maybe one every three or four years.

"Q. When something like this happens, is anything done by your office to correct that problem?

"A. Well, when this one happened, we searched all the files to make sure that there were no other ones in there, which there were three other ones


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