State v Malecha
In this case, the Minnesota Supreme Court is considering the scope of a crucial doctrine that protects criminal defendants from being convicted based on evidence obtained in violation of their constitutional rights. Under both the U.S. and Minnesota Constitutions, courts apply an “exclusionary rule” that allows criminal defendants to seek the exclusion of evidence obtained in violation of their rights. For nearly 40 years, the U.S. Supreme Court has chipped away at the exclusionary rule by adopting and expanding the “good faith exception,” a doctrine providing that in some situations courts need not exclude evidence obtained in violation of the Constitution. In this case, officers acquired evidence after arresting someone based on a warrant that was listed as valid due to a recordkeeping error, but which in fact should have been recalled. In July 2023, together with other ACLU attorneys and partners, the SSCI submitted an amicus brief to the Minnesota Supreme Court asking it to hold as a matter of state constitutional law that the exclusionary rule applies to this situation, and that the good-faith exception does not apply.