ISSUE: Does the fruit of the poisonous tree
doctrine exclude physical evidence obtained through voluntary but unwarned confessions?
The "fruit of the poisonous tree" doctrine first appeared in the 1920 case of Silverthorne Lumber Co.
The phrase "fruit of the poisonous tree" did not attach to this doctrine until two decades later in Nardone v.
Supreme Court explained that the Oregon court was incorrect in assuming that Miranda warnings were accorded the same deference as a constitutional right under the "fruit of the poisonous tree" doctrine.
The "tainted fruit of the poisonous tree
" may sound like "confusing imagistic language"; it is, in fact, a term of art that evokes very specific associations to anyone trained as a lawyer in this country.
There was no derivative evidence or "fruit of the poisonous tree" to be considered, because there was no "poisonous tree."
Moreover, the Fifth Amendment, which prohibits a person from being compelled to be a witness against himself, has its own exclusionary rule, which, in turn, has its own "built-in" poisonous tree doctrine.(131) What else did Counselman mean when it told us - long before the "fruit of the poisonous tree" doctrine acquired its colorful name, and long before it emerged in the search and seizure context - that the Fifth Amendment protects a person "from being compelled to disclose the circumstances of his offence [orl the sources from which, or the means by which, evidence of its commission, or of his connection with it, may be obtained ...
1285 (1985), the Supreme Court similarly held that a second statement obtained from a custodial suspect following one taken in violation of Miranda is not necessarily a fruit of the poisonous tree
and may be used at trial.
At his trial on the drug charge, he moved to suppress the evidence discovered during the search, arguing that the car's warrantless seizure violated the Fourth Amendment, thereby making the cocaine the "fruit of the poisonous tree
." After the jury returned a guilty verdict, the court denied the motion, and the Florida First District Court of Appeals affirmed.
Elstad,(11) the Supreme Court similarly held that a second statement obtained from a custodial suspect following one taken, in violation of Miranda is not necessarily a fruit of the poisonous tree
and may be used at trial.
He argued that the second statement was the tainted fruit of the poisonous tree
, because his prior unwarned statement exerted a coercive impact on his later admissions and that the Miranda warnings did not purge that taint.
If the courts view the traditional warrant as an outgrowth of an unlawful surreptitious search, anything seized pursuant to the traditional warrant would be considered "fruit of the poisonous tree
" and suppressed.