594 F. Supp. 1223 (1984) | Cited 0 times | D. Maine | October 19, 1984

Original Opinion of September 18, 1984, Reported at: 594 F. Supp. 1223.

1. The critical nature of the need for complete sanctity in the warrant process is now reinforced by a recent turn in legal doctrine. Under United States v. Leon, 468 U.S. 897, 104 S. Ct. 3405, 82 L. Ed. 2d 677, 52 U.L.W. 5155 (1984), suppression of evidence is allowed in only the most restricted of circumstances where the seizure occurs in reliance upon a facially valid warrant. Thus, the preservation of Fourth Amendment values is left now almost entirely to the sanctity of the magisterial process in determining probable cause on an application for a warrant. It is, therefore, more important than ever that no opportunity, much less any encouragement, be given for substantial error to creep into that process by permitting the magistrate to be unknowingly deprived of available information that has a potentially significant bearing on his probable cause determination.

2. In the oral argument on this issue the following colloquy took place between the Court and the prosecutor: THE COURT: Why run the risk of not letting the Magistrate know what he [Cunniff] knew so he [the Magistrate] could be sure his judgment was right, so that a neutral and detached mind might share -- MS. McGAUGHEY: And, your Honor, I have attempted to take the blame for that. I wish the Court to know that the decision to do that, I will inform the Court as an officer of the Court, was mine, not Mr. Cunniff's, and it was based on my evaluation that the credibility and the veracity of the witness was in no way impaired by what he had said; that the information about the eight trips was relevant as to my decision of whether to prosecute King. THE COURT: Was it your decision not to let the Magistrate know of that? MS. McGAUGHEY: Yes, your Honor.

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