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Nix v. Williams - Significance, Supreme Court Approves Inevitable Discovery Exception, Dissenters Feel Exclusionary Rule Is Undermined, Exclusionary Rule Offends Law And Order Supporters

evidence petitioner york bad


Crispus Nix


Robert Anthony Williams

Petitioner's Claim

That evidence pertaining to the discovery of a body was properly admitted because it would have ultimately been discovered, even if the defendant's right to counsel had not been violated. Also that the state need not prove the absence of bad faith in securing the evidence.

Chief Lawyer for Petitioner

Brent R. Appel

Chief Lawyer for Respondent

Robert Bartels

Justices for the Court

Warren E. Burger (writing for the Court), Harry A. Blackmun, Sandra Day O'Connor, Lewis F. Powell, Jr., William H. Rehnquist, John Paul Stevens, Byron R. White

Justices Dissenting

William J. Brennan, Jr., Thurgood Marshall


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

11 June 1984


Reversed the court of appeals and held that unlawfully obtained evidence is admissible if it would inevitably have been discovered lawfully. Also held that to establish the admissibility of such evidence, the prosecution does not have to prove the absence of bad faith.

Related Cases

  • Spano v. New York, 360 U.S. 315 (1959).
  • Wong Sun v. United States, 371 U.S. 471 (1963).
  • Chapman v. California, 386 U.S. 18 (1967).
  • United States v. Wade, 388 U.S. 218 (1967).
  • Brewer v. Williams, 430 U.S. 387 (1977).

Further Readings

  • Irons, Peter. Brennan vs. Rehnquist: The Battle for the Constitution. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1994.
  • Schwartz, Herman, ed. The Burger Years: Rights and Wrongs in the Supreme Court, 1969-1986. New York: Viking, 1987.
Nixon v. Fitzgerald - Significance, The Lower Court Decisions, The Court's Decision, The President Above The Law? [next] [back] Nix v. Whiteside - Significance, Overview, Whiteside's Crime And Defense, A Unanimous Decision, Federal District Court

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almost 11 years ago

This was very informational. I would suggest though, that the final decision be easier found. Thanks. :)

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over 7 years ago

The information i found was great!!!!!! i love jrank!!! thanks!!

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over 10 years ago

Williams was not arrested at a rest stop. He turned himself into the Davenport Police Station after consulting with his attorney Mr. McKnight.

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almost 11 years ago

this information is a great and very helpful webpage thanks for making this information easy to be found