Golden Gate University Law Review


This Comment argues that the Court misapplied the attenuation doctrine in Strieff, specifically in its application and interpretation of the language “purposeful and flagrant” and explores the possible implications of this decision. First, Section I explains the Fourth Amendment and the basic principles of law regarding searches and seizures, including the exclusionary rule and attenuation doctrine. Then, Section II examines the circuit court split prior to Utah v. Strieff and how each circuit interpreted the language “purposeful and flagrant.” Finally, Section III analyzes the issues with the Supreme Court’s interpretation of “purposeful and flagrant” in Utah v. Strieff and proposes a solution, which would require the examination of statistical data to determine whether an officer’s misconduct is purposeful and flagrant. The use of statistics will allow the courts to more easily justify their holdings as being consistent with the reality of the social sphere; furthermore, parties would be afforded a much more methodical approach to proving purposefulness and flagrancy.