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Justices Weigh Value of a Rule That Limits Evidence

Publication Date: 
October 08, 2008
The New York Times
Adam Liptak

Professor Pamela S. Karlan's oral argument in Herring v. United States, a case that went before Supreme Court on October 7, is cited in a New York Times story:

Pamela S. Karlan, representing Mr. Herring, said the police and the courts should be treated differently. "As long as it’s police error," Ms. Karlan said, "it counts against the police."

"If you announce that police error is going to lead to the suppression of evidence," she added, "the police will do a better job of maintaining their records."

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. suggested that asking for perfect record-keeping might be unrealistic. “They probably don’t have the latest version of WordPerfect, or whatever it is,” Chief Justice Roberts said. “They are probably making do with whatever they can under their budget and doing the best they can.”

Ms. Karlan responded by citing the bumbling deputy sheriff in “The Andy Griffith Show.”

“There’s not a Barney Fife defense to the violation of the Fourth Amendment,” she said.