3. The physical evidence
Evidence obtained as a direct result of actions that violate the Constitution is inadmissible against a defendant in the government's case-in-chief. The exclusionary rule also applies, through the "fruit of the poisonous tree" doctrine, to evidence proximately derived from unconstitutional actions. See Wong Sun v. United States, 371 U.S. 471, 9 L. Ed. 2d 441, 83 S. Ct. 407 (1963). Here, the defendant suggests that the physical evidence recovered from his vehicle must be suppressed because his own statement, elicited in violation of the Miranda rule, led to its discovery. The law does not require such an outcome.
The prophylactic warnings established in Miranda are not themselves rights protected by the Constitution. Michigan v. Tucker, 417 U.S. 433, 444, 41 L. Ed. 2d 182, 94 S. Ct. 2357 (1974). In the absence of proof of unconstitutional conduct, there is no requirement that statements in violation of the Miranda rule "and their fruits be discarded as inherently tainted." Oregon v. Elstad, 470 U.S. 298, 307, 84 L. Ed. 2d 222, 105 S. Ct. 1285 (1985) (emphasis added). See, e.g., New York v. Quarles, 467 U.S. 649, 81 L. Ed. 2d 550, 104 S. Ct. 2626 (1984) (establishing the public safety exception to the exclusionary rule); Harris v. New York, 401 U.S. 222, 28 L. Ed. 2d 1, 91 S. Ct. 643 (1971) (establishing that un-Mirandized statements may be introduced for impeachment purposes). Physical evidence obtained because of a statement taken in violation of the Miranda rule need not be suppressed because of the Miranda violation. If a statement that reveals the existence or location of physical evidence is voluntary
and not itself the product of a constitutional violation, the physical evidence will be admissible unless excluded for some other reason. See United States v. Elie, 111 F.3d 1135, 1141-42 (4th Cir. 1997); United States v. Gonzalez-Sandoval, 894 F.2d 1043, 1048 (9th Cir. 1990); United States v. Sangineto-Miranda, 859 F.2d 1501, 1517-18 (6th Cir. 1988).
Defendant in this case revealed the existence and location of the guns with a single sentence and a gesture made in response to a single question. He had been in custody only for a moment. The record contains no evidence of coercive police activity or compulsion of any kind. Defendant's statement thus appears to have been voluntary, and, although it will be suppressed because of the Miranda violation,
it provided probable cause for Bosak's lawful search of the trunk of the hatchback, where the contraband was found. California v. Acevedo, 500 U.S. 565, 570, 114 L. Ed. 2d 619, 111 S. Ct. 1982 (1991).
It is accordingly this 12th day of August, 1997,
ORDERED that the government's motion for reconsideration [ # 29] is granted in part and denied in part.
United States District Judge