Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law

OSJCL Amici Board of Advisors

OSJCL Amici: Views from the Field

Herring v. United States

The main issue of contention is the exclusionary rule. The basic facts are that Bennie Dean Herring entered a Coffee County sheriff’s department for an unrelated matter. One of the officers there, believing that a warrant existed for Herring, did a warrant check, calling nearby Dale County to determine if there was a warrant out. Having been told that a warrant existed, police followed and pulled over Herring’s car, and proceeded to search his truck, uncovering methamphetamine and a pistol. However, unknown to these officers, the warrant they believe existed had actually been recalled. Herring was charged with possession of both the weapon and drugs, and at trial attempted to have this evidence suppressed under the grounds that police officers lacked reasonable grounds for the search.

The magistrate and district judge both ruled against Defendant Herring, holding that the search was conducted in good faith belief that the arrest warrant was outstanding. On appeal the District court found that three conditions were necessary for the exclusionary rule: 1. misconduct by policy or adjuncts to the law enforcement team, 2. application of rule my result in appreciable deterrence of misconduct, and 3. benefits of rule’s application must not outweigh its cost. Finding none of these conditions met, the 11th Dist. Ct. of Appeals affirmed.



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