The Fruit Of The Poisonous Tr

This is a 3 part assignment. The 1st part is to read the material and then write the initial discussion post. The 2nd part is to write a short reply to 3 classmates posts. Once the initial post is completed I will post here 3 other classmates posts for you to write a short reply to. For the Discussion part of the post please see the discussion rubric. The 3rd part which is the Case Study, is to be completed separate from the discussion post.  


I am attaching the PDF files for the reading material here.

Discussion Assignment: Chapters 4,5, 6 & 7. 

Define the fruit-of-the-poisonous-tree doctrine and describe its importance in police searches.

Case Study #1 Assignment: 

Chapters 1,2 & 3. Review the following link and video. 

National Public Radio. “Is the ‘CSI Effect’ Influencing Courtrooms?” by Ann Rath, PBS Frontline. (Links to an external site.)

Provide a one-page response discussing the effect of the television series CSI and others like it on real-world courtroom decisions.  Feel free to use additional resources.  Remember to cite your sources and include a reference page.

classmates posts for replies to.


The fruit-of-the-poisonous-tree doctrine stems from the cases of; Wong Sun v. United States (1963) and Murray v. United States (1988). It can also be derived from the Exclusionary Rule, Stating that evidence obtained by police unconstitutionally (by illegal search and seizure) cannot be admissible in court. The initial illegally obtained evidence can be referred to as the “poisonous tree” whereas any additional evidence derived from initial evidence is the “fruit”. When considering the effects these limitations have on police searches, we must understand that illegally obtained evidence can be “tainted” and have more of a negative result in a trial and used against the officer. It is important to legally obtain evidence with probable cause to limit negligent police misconduct.

Orthmann, et al. Criminal Investigation. Cengage Learning, 2016.

Maedot Teka, Esq. “The Fruit of the Poisonous Tree Doctrine.” LawInfo, 26 Feb. 2021,


The fruit-of-the-poisonous-tree doctrine, is a saying for any evidence that is gathered by the police through ways that violate a defendant’s constitutional rights. A good example of this would be the illegal wiretap of a defendant. The case that started the term, is Wong Sun V. United States. In this case, the prosecution included drugs as evidence which they obtained information from a witness, when the defendant was illegally arrested. Because of the illegal arrest, the Supreme Court ruled all evidence including the witness statement was fruit-of-the-poisonous-tree.

It is important to have a doctrine like the fruit-of-the-poisonous-tree because it prevents officers from illegally obtaining evidence to prosecute a defendant, and it keeps everything honest and constitutional by protecting the defendant’s rights.

References: Tarleton, Micheal.(n.d.).Fruit of the poisonous tree:illegally obtained evidence.Retrieved from (Links to an external site.)


The Fruit of the Poisonous Tree doctrine (also known as the Derivative Evidence Doctrine) is a rule in criminal law that makes evidence that was derived from an illegal search, arrest or interrogation inadmissible. In other words, the evidence (the “fruit”) was tainted due to it coming from the illegal search and seizure (the “poisonous tree”). Under this doctrine, not only must illegally obtained evidence be excluded, but also all evidence obtained or derived from exploitation of that evidence.

The doctrine is important during police searches so that the civil rights of the person that is searched is not violated. The doctrine also makes sure that during an unlawful search that anything that is found during that time cannot be used against the person in the court of law. The exclusionary rule established that courts may not accept evidence obtained by unreasonable search and seizure regardless of the case in question. A case be thrown out by a judge if is known that the search was illegal in anyway that is why is very important that when officers have information that will help their case, they proceed in the correct way. Two exceptions are the inevitable discovery and the good faith doctrine.

The Supreme court case that was noted to be the reason for the fruit- of- the- poisonous- tree doctrine the case of Wong Sun v. United States, the prosecution introduced drugs into evidence against the defendant. Federal officers had learned about the drugs from a witness they knew about only because of a statement by the defendant during an illegal arrest. The Supreme Court ruled that everything the officers discovered as a result of the illegal arrest was fruit of the poisonous tree: not just the statement itself but also the witness information they gleaned from it and the actual drugs that the witness led them to. (371 U.S. 471 (1963).

Fruit of poisonous tree doctrine. Stephen G. Rodriguez & Partners. (n.d.). Retrieved November 2, 2021, from

Tarleton, M. (2016, August 23). Fruit of the poisonous tree: Illegally obtained evidence. Retrieved November 2, 2021, from

H., O. C. M., Hess Ka?ren M., & Cho, H. L. (2017). Chapter 4 Searches. In Criminal investigation (p. 116). essay, Cengage Learning. 

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