In a major departure from previous rulings on the exclusionary rule, the Supreme Court allowed the use of criminal evidence that was the fruit of a search conducted contrary to the “knock-and-announce” rule.
From colonial times, American courts have subscribed to the common law requirement that police, before using force to enter a private home, should knock and announce their identity and purpose. In Wilson v. Arkansas
In 1998, Detroit police officers obtained a regular warrant (with no exemption from the knock-and-announce rule) to search for drugs and weapons in the home of Booker T. Hudson. Without knocking, the officers announced their presence and waited only three or four seconds before entering through an unlocked door. They found guns and cocaine. At trial, Hudson’s lawyers argued that the evidence should be suppressed because the police had violated the knock-and-announce rule. Although agreeing that the rule had not been followed, the judge nevertheless allowed the evidence to be admitted, and Hudson was sentenced to eighteen months’ probation.
The U.S. Supreme Court voted five to four to uphold the conviction. Speaking for the majority, Justice Antonin Scalia
Speaking for the four-member minority, Justice Stephen Breyer
Breyer, Stephen G.
Kennedy, Anthony M.
Search warrant requirement