Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2279044
 


 



In the Absence of Scrutiny: Narratives of Probable Cause


G. Mitu Gulati


Duke University - School of Law

Jack Knight


Duke University; Duke University - Department of Political Science

David F. Levi


Duke University - School of Law

July 1, 2013


Abstract:     
This Article reports on a set of roughly thirty interviews with federal magistrate judges. The focus of the interviews was the impact of the Supreme Court case, United States v. Leon, on the behavior of magistrate judges. Leon, famously, put in place the “good faith” exception for faulty warrants that were obtained by the officers in good faith. The insertion of this exception diminished significantly the incentive for defendants to challenge problematic warrant grants. That effect, in turn, could have diminished the incentive for magistrate judge scrutiny of the warrants at the front end of the process. We do not find any indication of diminished scrutiny. What we do find, however, is a highly ritualized and formalistic process for the evaluation of warrants where calculations of probabilities are viewed through a legalistic rather than a pragmatic lens.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 38

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Date posted: June 14, 2013 ; Last revised: July 15, 2013

Suggested Citation

Gulati, G. Mitu and Knight, Jack and Levi, David F., In the Absence of Scrutiny: Narratives of Probable Cause (July 1, 2013). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2279044 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2279044

Contact Information

Gaurang Mitu Gulati (Contact Author)
Duke University - School of Law ( email )
Box 90360
Duke School of Law
Durham, NC 27708
United States
Jack Knight
Duke University ( email )
Box 90360
Duke School of Law
Durham, NC 27708
United States
Duke University - Department of Political Science ( email )
Durham, NC 27708-0204
United States
David F. Levi
Duke University - School of Law ( email )
Box 90360
Duke School of Law
Durham, NC 27708
United States
919-613-7001 (Phone)
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