D.N.M.: Just because the officer would search again, despite the court’s order the 4A was violated, doesn’t mean he won’t be deterred because he should be

On the government’s motion to reconsider, it argues that the cost-benefits analysis of the exclusionary rule should be evaluated in terms of the fact the officer would have searched here no matter what, so there was nothing to deter. Yes, there is, says the court. United States v. Cornejo, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 146507 (D. N.M. Sept. 11, 2017):

To accept the Government’s cost-benefit argument in the context of this case would be to vitiate the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable seizures. “The exclusionary rule was adopted to effectuate the Fourth Amendment right of all citizens to be secure … against unreasonable … seizures. Under this rule, evidence obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment cannot be used in a criminal proceeding against the victim of the illegal … seizure.” United States v. Calandra, 414 U.S. 338, 347, 94 S. Ct. 613, 38 L. Ed. 2d 561 (1974). Deputy Armijo violated Defendant’s Fourth Amendment right to be free from an unreasonable seizure by initiating a traffic stop without reasonable suspicion that Defendant had violated the law. To the extent that Deputy Armijo would do so again, undeterred by the Court’s determination that the stop was unconstitutional does not bear on the propriety of suppressing the evidence. See Wayne R. LaFave, Search and Seizure, § 1.2(d) (5th ed. 2012) (“The exclusionary rule is not aimed at special deterrence since it does not impose any direct punishment on a law enforcement official” who has contravened the Fourth Amendment; rather, it “is aimed at affecting the wider audience of law enforcement officials and society at large. It is meant to discourage violations by individuals who have never experienced any sanction for them.”); Calandra, 414 U.S. at 347 (recognizing that the primary purpose of the exclusionary rule is “to deter future unlawful police conduct and thereby effectuate the guarantee of the Fourth Amendment against unreasonable searches and seizures”).

In summary, in keeping with the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable seizures, the evidence obtained as a result of Deputy Armijo’s unconstitutional traffic stop of Defendant has been suppressed. The Government’s arguments in support of its Motion for Reconsideration are not persuasive.

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