Murray v. United States - Oral Argument - December 08, 1987

Murray v. United States

Media for Murray v. United States

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - June 27, 1988 in Murray v. United States

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - December 08, 1987 in Murray v. United States

William H. Rehnquist:

We'll hear argument first this morning in Number 86-995, Murray against the United States, consolidated with 86-1016, Carter against the United States.

Mr. Randolph, you may proceed whenever you're ready.

A. Raymond Randolph Jr.:

Thank you, Mr. Chief Justice, and may it please the Court:

This case is here on certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit.

The Court granted certiorari to consider a question whether evidence uncovered during a warrantless search in violation of the Fourth Amendment may nevertheless be admitted to evidence on the basis of the inevitable discovery exception to the exclusionary rule.

The following pattern of events gives rise to this question.

In this case, the events took place on a Wednesday afternoon in Boston in April 1983.

Officers violated the Fourth Amendment, which is assumed in this case, by entering premises without a warrant.

During the illegal search that ensues, they discover evidence.

They prepare an affidavit for a search warrant.

The affidavit omits the fact that the earlier entry and what they found.

The warrant issues and the officers remove the evidence.

Our position in this case is that whatever the officers find during their illegal entry, whatever they discover, has to be excluded.

Under the Court's decision in Segura, whatever they find later during the warrant search comes in and may be admitted.

The Government contends that nothing should be excluded from evidence, despite the unlawful search, and that is what the Court of Appeals held in this case.

The facts shall summarize as follows:

By noon on April 6th, the Wednesday, as I said, in 1983, a joint FBI/DEA investigation was on-going involving a total of about fifteen agents.

Before 1 p.m. that day, the agents began keeping a warehouse in South Boston under surveillance.

They had concluded by that time, and even earlier, that it contained marijuana.

The building was located on the corner of First and D Streets.

It had two garage doors facing First Street and a black steel door facing D Street, the only entrances to the warehouse.

About 1:45, agents saw a white truck and a green camper pull up, go into the warehouse.

A few minutes later, the vehicles left, they were followed by some of the agents on the scene, and later stopped; one on the Massachusetts Turnpike, another in Dorchester, both of the vehicles contained marijuana.

In the mean time, many of the agents, at least seven, had assembled at a parking lot about one mile from the warehouse.

The Pier Restaurant parking lot.

With them was the Assistant United States Attorney.

The two agents who were in charge of this investigation and a DEA agent named Keaney, an FBI agent named Cleary, were there.

They saw a green camper pull into the parking lot, arrested its occupant, only to find they had arrested an electrician from New Hampshire.

They looked through the vehicle and there was no marijuana.

Petitioners then drove into the parking lot in another vehicle, a blue van, with ladders on top.