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Judge, later Justice, Cardozo made a seminal observation that, under the exclusionary rule, '[t]he criminal is to go free because the constable has blundered.' People v. Defore, 242 N.Y. 13, 21, 150 N.E. 585, 587 (1926). Prophetically, he went on to consider 'how far-reaching in its effect upon society' the exclusionary rule would be when '[t]he pettiest peace officer would have it in his power, through overzeal or indiscretion, to confer immunity upon an offender for crimes the most flagitious.' Id. at 23, 150 N.E. at 588. Some day, Cardozo speculated, some court might press the exclusionary rule to the outer limits of its logic -- or beyond -- and suppress evidence relating to the 'body of a murdered' victim because of the means by which it was found. Id. at 23-24, 150 N.E. at 588. Cardozo's prophecy was fulfilled in Killough v. United States, 114 U.S.App.D.C. 305, 309, 315 F.2d 241, 245 (1962) (en banc). But when the evidence in question would inevitably have been discovered without reference to the police error or misconduct, there is no nexus sufficient to provide a taint, and the evidence is admissible.

The 'vast majority' of ...

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