State v. Cobb

In State v. Cobb, 251 Conn. 285, 338-39, 743 A.2d 1 (1999), cert. denied, 531 U.S. 841 (2000), the Court explained the inevitable discovery doctrine and its supporting public policy. "Both the United States Supreme Court and our Supreme Court have explained the relationship between the independent source doctrine and the inevitable discovery doctrine. The inevitable discovery doctrine . . . assumes the validity of the independent source doctrine as applied to evidence initially acquired unlawfully. . . . 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. . . . Both doctrines rest on the same premise: the interest of society in deterring unlawful police conduct and the public interest in having fact finders receive all probative evidence of a crime are properly balanced by putting the police in the same, not a worse, position that they would have been in if no police error or misconduct had occurred. . . . Thus, if the state can prove that the evidence would have been obtained inevitably and, therefore, would have been admitted regardless of any overreaching by the police, there is no rational basis to keep that evidence from the jury in order to ensure the fairness of the trial proceedings." State v. Cobb, supra, 251 Conn. at 337. In Cobb, the Court subsequently stated that such requirements for the application of the inevitable discovery doctrine may not be rigid. State v. Cobb, supra, 251 Conn. at 338-39.