A reminder

A cynic will remark that the government’s argument on an issue can be reduced to, “we are the government, we win.”  I have noted that “talismanic incantations” from the government should be challenged as just that and the government should be challenged to actually lay out the evidence or specific theory to support their argument.

Here is a case which reminds us.

The trial court held that inevitable discovery led to defendant’s computer getting seized, but there was no evidence that supported that, just argument. Defendant did not consent to a search of his laptop merely by telling the police where it was when they asked. That proves nothing of voluntariness.State v. Wells, 2013 N.C. App. LEXIS 121 (February 5, 2013)

The State’s final argument is that discovery of the laptop computer was inevitable because the laptop computer was known to be in existence and was the focal point of the investigation. We do not doubt either of the State’s assertions; however, having knowledge that the laptop computer exists is entirely different than knowing where the laptop computer may be found. At the hearing on defendant’s motions to suppress, no evidence was presented to the trial court to show how or when the laptop computer would have been discovered by independent lawful means.

h/t fourthamendment.com

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