D.Mass.: Attacking only GFE when court found both PC and GFE states no 2255 claim

The district court before conviction held that the search warrant was based on probable cause and the good faith exception would apply. In his 2255, defendant argues that defense counsel was ineffective for not better arguing the good faith exception. The court spends a lot of toner getting to the point: What difference does it make if there was probable cause anyway? “The search warrant was supported by probable cause or, in the alternative, the good faith exception under Leon with respect to the contents of Henry’s cell phone. … Henry’s counsel’s failure to raise and preserve the latter argument did not result in any prejudice to Henry.” United States v. Henry, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1344 (D. Mass. Jan. 6, 2020). This is an example of the appellate rationale that if two reasons are asserted for the trial court’s conclusion, merely attacking one on appeal doesn’t even merit a decision on the merits.

Before getting a child pornography search warrant, officers did not have to independently verify that the images being searched for were in fact child pornography as long as there was probable cause to believe they were there. United States v. Eller, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1255 (D.Ariz. Jan. 3, 2020).*

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