Little Screw-Ups Now Okay

After several sessions of lobbying, Knox County District Attorney Randy Nichols and some of his colleagues have been successful in passing a “good faith” exception to court rules that throw out warrants because of clerical errors or minor mistakes. The bill was proposed by the Tennessee District Attorney General Conference.

Nichols argued that major criminal cases have been lost because faulty warrants with minor mistakes have thrown out evidence. He cited one case where a “truck full” of cocaine was suppressed because a judge wrote “a.m.” instead of “p.m.” on the warrant. The bill has passed both houses and has been sent to Gov. Bill Haslam and it will amend court rules to allow warrants to stand if the mistakes are minor and unintentional.

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