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Case / Legal Brief for Herring V. U.S. 129 S.Ct. 695 (2009)

Updated on July 16, 2012


Here I will write a hub on the brief for the legal case Herring V. U.S. case number 129 S.Ct. 695 (2009)


Case and citation: Herring V. U.S. 129 S.Ct. 695 (2009)

Facts: On July 7, 2004 Investigator Mark Anderson learned that Bennie Dean Herring had driven to the Coffee County Sheriff’s Department to retrieve something from his impounded truck. Knowing Herring’s past he called local sheriff’s offices to see if there were any warrants out for the arrest. When a Dale County warrant had come back positive, officers asked for the warrant to be faxed over for confirmation. Anderson and a deputy followed Herring after leaving the lot while the information and pulled him over, and arrested him. Upon arrest they found methamphetamine and a pistol. He was then prosecuted for the both items found, and Herring asked for a motion to suppress the evidence based on the fact his arrest was illegal based on the fact the warrant had been rescinded.

History: Bennie Dean Herring ( defendant) was charged with being a convicted felon in possession of firearm and knowingly possessing methamphetamine. The United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama, Myron H. Thompson, J, denied defendant’s motion to suppress evidence recovered in search incident to his arrest. Defendant was subsequently convicted on both counts and he appealed. The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, Carnes, Circuit Judge, 492 F.3d 1212 Affirmed. Certiorari was granted. Affirmed.

Rationale: The court’s voted in favor of the evidence, and denied the motion to suppress based on the ground of the warrant. Because the warrant had been thought to be active at the time of the arrest, and was based off of negligence, not on purpose that the courts find that the evidence does not have to get suppressed. Also that the exclusionary rule applies to police mistakes that make it necessary for suppression not on the systematic errors that can happen in the filing system.

What could have changed the case: That as long as the police acted based off of the law in thinking that the warrant was active nothing was done wrong, but if they knowingly knew the warrant was not active this would have changed the case.


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    • ib radmasters profile image

      ib radmasters 5 years ago from Southern California

      Once again I have to disagree with you, if you want a class to mimic a decision then you hub is ok. But if you want students to learn the law you have to widen the scope, and that includes pertain facts.

      I gave my arguments to support my opinion.

      Reading the dissenting opinion in these cases is also necessary to learn the law.

      This was a 5-4 Roberts Court decision, and that is important to note.

      ---Allen Goldstein wrote that the decision was of "surpassing significance"; law professor and Fourth Amendment expert Orin Kerr suggested Goldstein was reading too much into the case, writing that Herring was best seen as "a narrow and interstitial decision, not one that is rocking the boat. ... I don't see it as suggesting a general good faith exception for police conduct ... [which is] why the dissenters didn't sound the alarm.... Writing shortly after the decision, the New York Times' Adam Liptak expressed concern that the decision was a step towards overruling Mapp.

    • Johnrr631992 profile image

      John Reid-Roberts 5 years ago from Boston, Massachusetts

      All comments are fine, My gant one I pulled because HP claimed duplicate content, and while I know there should not be duplicate content, to argue, send in a request for change, and get to the bottom of this would be to much for an article that I had previously written, and was adding to Hubpages, as opposed to writing yesterday.

      And as I said in the Gant comment, while I do leave out certain facts of the case, for my briefs, or briefs being submitted for a criminal justice class itself (which these are solely put on here for) you only need the facts that are relevant to exactly what is going on with convictions. While some facts can add the detail to add more weight to a side of the case, I add the basic facts that one needs to get the brief written for a criminal justice class.

      Once again I do thank you for commenting. I did intend on updating and fixing the Gant case, but where I pulled it for duplication problems, I decided not to mess with it. AT the same time, I will eventually be updating all my legal cases when i get more in depth with them, just with classes starting up, I know that it does help somewhat to have these out there when students are searching for cases when writing their briefs and to have a reference like this. While I hope they don't just copy and paste this and submit it, having details left out will hopefully prevent that as well, because if I did write a "perfect" brief then that would just open up people to copy and pasting my work, as of now they still have to read my work, and read the case, and learn something, not just rip a section off the web like many of my former class mates did.

      Once again I do not need to argue, nor will I remove comments. I do enjoy all criticisms of my work, as it helps my work get better. Thank you, and thanks for reading :).

    • ib radmasters profile image

      ib radmasters 5 years ago from Southern California

      I notice that you pulled the Gant hub, or it was pulled by hp.

      In this case, I would again submit that your facts are not complete enough to learn much about the law.

      Not all upper court decisions are good decision, and the worst decisions are from a simple majority of the justices.

      Also, his truck had been impounded, and it is possible that checks on outstanding warrants would have been done at that time. Of course we have no idea why it was impounded.

      I am sorry, but this case lacks enough of the facts to make it a rule of law from which to learn.

      From the Gant comment, you are going to say these fact were not necessary to understanding decision. The bottom line you provide is whether the knowledge of the true status of the warrant was the issue.

      So we can deduce that color of authority is substantial enough for overcoming the requirement of probable cause. Bad reasoning and bad law enforcement. This would encourage law enforcement to work with systems that are not current and reliable. This is the message that law enforcement got out of this decision.

      I don't care about protecting the guilty, but the law is created to protect the innocent. To change the facts here, and say that the warrant was valid, but the defendant was not the person described in the warrant, but the warrant system was at fault.

      Now we have an innocent person being arrested for the same kind of negligence that was excused in this case.

      If you are defensive about my comments, just delete them.

      This is not a personal attack, it is just arguing my viewpoint.