Of Poisonous Fruits

In the case of a CK man arrested for videotaping people using a restroom in December, local defense attorney Thomas Weaver attempted in Kitsap County Superior Court Tuesday to call into question the validity of a search warrant police had obtained for suspected marijuana delivery.

How are those two crimes — voyeurism and drug delivery — related?

Police hadn’t expected to find the video, which totaled about 50 hours. They were at the man’s home to find marijuana.

But one of the arguments Weaver put forth was that the police search warrant for marijuana was limited away from turning on any cameras or computers. Judge Karlynn Haberly ruled against him, saying law enforcement had the right to look at the electronic devices.

But had she ruled the other way, an interesting legal doctrine may have emerged, called “Fruit of a Poisonous Tree.”

The doctrine is pretty simple: if the “tree” of the original evidence (in this case the marijuana buy that led to the first warrant), is found to be unlawful, all “fruit” on the branches stemming from that source (the second warrant to look at the camera, for instance), would be tossed out.

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