IN recognizes attenuation doctrine under state constitution’s exclusionary rule.

Indiana recognizes attenuation doctrine under state constitution’s exclusionary rule. Wright v. State, 2018 Ind. LEXIS 565 (Oct. 4, 2018):

Nearly a century ago, this Court adopted and applied the exclusionary rule to Indiana’s jurisprudence. The rule provides: When, in violation of Article 1, Section 11 of the Indiana Constitution, the State gains evidence by illegal means (i.e., an unreasonable search or seizure), it may not then use that evidence against the defendant. Through the fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine, we’ve extended the exclusionary rule to exclude evidence directly or derivatively obtained from the illegal conduct. This present case tests that rule’s limits. Specifically, this case asks, as a matter of Indiana constitutional law, does an illegal seizure and search irreparably stain all derivative evidence the police gain afterwards, making it inadmissible under the exclusionary rule, or can the evidence be sufficiently separated from that primary taint to be admissible? In simpler terms, does the attenuation doctrine apply in Indiana constitutional law?

While the Court of Appeals previously confronted these questions— and split over the answers—they are novel questions for us that we answer today. We hold the attenuation doctrine can apply under the Indiana Constitution. Evidence found after an unreasonable search or seizure can become attenuated from that illegality, meaning the evidence itself or the circumstances in which the evidence was discovered were sufficiently distinguishable or separated from the search or seizure. In this particular case, we find the challenged evidence—the defendant’s statements to law enforcement—were amply attenuated from the illegal search. We, therefore, affirm the defendant’s child-molestation convictions.

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