D. Anthony


In the face of expanding U.S. Border Patrol operations across the country, that agency often acquires evidence during its searches that is unrelated to immigration or other federal crimes but may involve state crimes. States are then faced with the question of whether to accept such evidence for state prosecutions when it was lawfully obtained by federal agents consistent with federal law but in violation of the state’s own search and seizure provisions. Sometimes referred to as “reverse silver platter” evidence, states have come to widely varying conclusions as to the admissibility of federally obtained evidence that would clearly have been inadmissible had it been obtained by state actors. This Article explores the approaches and rationales employed by states on this question and the legal implications thereof, particularly in light of sometimes constitutionally dubious Border Patrol activities, the “border search exception” to the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and the broader significance of states choosing to sacrifice their own constitutional principles and rights of their citizens in the interest of prosecutorial convenience.



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