The Eleventh Circuit affirmed a defendant’s conviction and life sentence for federal child sex crimes and rejected his Fourth Amendment challenges. At issue was whether undisputed negligence by the FBI in its investigation, which included the FBI waiting over six months to execute a warrant after the warrant’s deadline, warranted suppression. The Court held that the violation of that deadline was akin to a violation of Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, not a violation of the Fourth Amendment, so the defendant would have to show prejudice and a deliberate disregard of the rule by law enforcement, which the Court held the defendant did not do here. Regarding another late search by the FBI which did rise to the level of a Fourth Amendment violation, the Court emphasized that the good faith exception applied because the exclusionary rule was intended to apply only to “deliberate, reckless, or gross negligent disregard for Fourth Amendment rights,” and the FBI’s negligence in this case did not rise to that level.
On appeal from the Northern District of Alabama
Opinion by Brasher, joined by J. Pryor and Luck
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