DC: That govt could have gotten a SW isn’t enough for inevitable discovery

Defendant’s admission that she “trashed” defendant’s stuff and it was in her hotel room was probable cause to believe there was evidence of a crime, but there was no exigency for a warrantless entry. Simply arguing that the government could have obtained a search warrant makes it inevitable discovery doesn’t hold any water here. [After all, they can always say that could have gotten a search warrant.] Gore v. United States, 2016 D.C. App. LEXIS 313 (Aug. 18, 2016):

The inevitable discovery doctrine shields illegally obtained evidence from the exclusionary rule if the government can show, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the evidence “ultimately or inevitably would have been discovered by lawful means.” “Would” — not “could” or “might” — is the word the Supreme Court used in Nix v. Williams and is, therefore, the “constitutional standard.” In determining whether discovery was inevitable, the trial court cannot engage in speculation, and must focus exclusively on “demonstrated historical facts capable of ready verification or impeachment.” Accordingly, we have said that “the lawful process which would have ended in the inevitable discovery must have commenced before the constitutionally invalid seizure, and there must be the requisite actuality that the discovery would have ultimately been made by lawful means.”

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