The Good Faith Exception

In Braxton v. State, 123 Md. App. 599, 720 A.2d 27 (1998), Judge Hollander, writing for the Court, set forth a detailed discussion of the good faith exception stating, in part, as follows: Notwithstanding the importance of the exclusionary rule to the Fourth Amendment jurisprudence, the Supreme Court determined that 'suppression of evidence obtained pursuant to a warrant should be ordered only on a case-by-case basis and only in those unusual cases in which exclusion will further the purposes of the exclusionary rule.' United States v. Leon, 468 U.S. at 918. In [Massachusetts v. Sheppard, 468 U.S. 981 (1984)], the Court added: 'We refuse to rule that an officer is required to disbelieve a judge who has just advised him ... that the warrant he possesses authorizes him to conduct the search he has requested.' To be sure, Leon made clear that there are circumstances when exclusion of evidence remains the appropriate sanction, even if an officer 'has obtained a warrant and abided by its terms.' Leon, 468 U.S. at 922. This is because 'the officer's reliance on the magistrate's probable-cause determination ... must be objectively reasonable, and it is clear that in some circumstances the officer will have no reasonable grounds for believing that the warrant was properly issued.' 468 U.S. at 922-23. (Braxton, 123 Md. App. at 634-35.)