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|Criminal trials and convictions|
|Rights of the accused|
|Related areas of law|
Inevitable discovery is a doctrine in the United States criminal procedure that allows evidence of a defendant's guilt that would otherwise be considered inadmissible under the exclusionary rule to be admitted into evidence in a trial.
The doctrine was adopted first by the United States Supreme Court in Nix v. Williams in 1984. It holds that evidence obtained in violation of the defendant's constitutional rights is admissible in court if it can be established, by a preponderance of the evidence, that normal police investigation would have inevitably led to the discovery of the evidence. The rationale for the rule is that police misconduct is sufficiently deterred and the interests of society are better served by putting police in the same position that they would have been in without the rights violation, not a worse position.
- Nix v. Williams, 467 U.S. 443–44.
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