New Hampshire v. RobinsonAnnotate this Case
The general rule is that evidence must be excluded if it is discovered as a result of police misconduct. “The inevitable discovery doctrine, with its distinct requirements, is in reality an extrapolation from the independent source doctrine: Since the tainted evidence would be admissible if in fact discovered through an independent source, it should be admissible if it inevitably would have been discovered.” Defendant Scott Robinson appealed his convictions for armed robbery and first degree assault. The New Hampshire Supreme Court reversed his convictions, holding that the trial court erred in concluding that exigent circumstances permitted the warrantless entry by police into his apartment. Upon remand, defendant again moved to suppress, inter alia, physical evidence obtained “from the time of the warrantless entry into his apartment” and the fruits thereof. The trial court denied his request to suppress the physical evidence, after finding that it was properly seized during a subsequent search pursuant to a valid warrant. Defendant was convicted following a subsequent jury trial. In this appeal, defendant argued: (1) the trial court erred by considering, upon remand, the doctrines of independent source and inevitable discovery; (2) that his trial counsel was ineffective because she did not argue that the doctrines of law of the case and waiver barred the State from raising the independent source and inevitable discovery arguments in the trial court following remand; and (3) that, even if the trial court did not err in considering the State’s arguments, remand is necessary to address certain factual issues. Finding no reversible error, the Supreme Court affirmed.