Is ''Physical'' Evidence Obtained In Violation of Miranda Admissible ?
The court in People v. Whitfield (1996) noted that the proper means of suppressing statements obtained in violation of Miranda is by use of a hearing pursuant to Evidence Code section 402. (People v. Whitfield, supra, 46 Cal. App. 4th at pp. 958-959.)
The court recognized, however, that a finding at an Evidence Code section 402 hearing that a statement was taken in violation of Miranda because of a police failure to give Miranda admonitions would only justify the suppression of the statement itself and would not justify the further suppression of other evidence, including physical evidence, obtained through use of the unlawful but noncoerced statement. (People v. Whitfield, supra, 46 Cal. App. 4th at pp. 957-959.)
In reaching this conclusion, the court in Whitfield relied on the holding of the United States Supreme Court in Oregon v. Elstad (1985) 470 U.S. 298, 308 105 S. Ct. 1285, 1292, 84 L. Ed. 2d 222 (the fruit of the poisonous tree concept does not apply to require suppression when the alleged fruit is a subsequent statement voluntarily given by a suspect since a mere failure to admonish a suspect does not render the initial statement coerced although the initial statement is inadmissible because it is a violation of Miranda), and Michigan v. Tucker (1974) 417 U.S. 433, 446 94 S. Ct. 2357, 2364, 41 L. Ed. 2d 182 (the fruit of the poisonous tree concept does not apply to "fruits" of a statement taken in contravention of Miranda where the alleged violation is a failure to admonish).
The Whitfield court found that the reasoning of Elstad and Tucker required a conclusion that the fruit of the poisonous tree analysis does not apply to the "fruit" of a noncoerced Miranda violation. (People v. Whitfield, supra, 46 Cal. App. 4th at p. 955.)
In Dickerson v. United States (2000) 530 U.S. 428 120 S. Ct. 2326, 147 L. Ed. 2d 405, the Supreme Court made clear that Miranda warnings are constitutionally based, and also reaffirmed the validity of the ruling in Elstad that the fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine developed in Fourth Amendment cases does not apply in cases involving noncoercive violations of Miranda because "unreasonable searches under the Fourth Amendment are different from unwarned interrogation under the Fifth Amendment." (Id. at p. 120 S. Ct. at p. 2335.)
In People v. Carpenter (1999) 21 Cal. 4th 1016, 1040 90 Cal. Rptr. 2d 607, 988 P.2d 531, the Supreme Court declined to resolve the issue of whether the fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine applied to a noncoerced statement taken in violation of the Miranda rules, since the alleged "fruit" in Carpenter was admissible under the inevitable discovery doctrine.
The court referred to Elstad and Tucker, which appear to except noncoerced statements obtained in violation of Miranda from the fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine, but also referred to People v. Schader (1969) 71 Cal. 2d 761, 778-779 80 Cal. Rptr. 1, 457 P.2d 841, which applied the fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine to bar the use of "fruits" of a statement obtained in violation of Miranda. (People v. Carpenter, supra, 21 Cal. 4th at p. 1040.)
We note that Schader was a case that preceded the enactment of Proposition 8 in 1982, and the viability of its holding is questionable in light of In re Lance W. (1985) 37 Cal. 3d 873, 888-890 210 Cal. Rptr. 631, 694 P.2d 744.