Silverthorne Lumber Co. v. United States
Silverthorne Lumber Co. v. United States, 251 U.S. 385 (1920), was a U.S. Supreme Court Case in which Silverthorne attempted to evade paying taxes. Federal agents illegally seized tax books from Silverthorne and created copies of the records. The issue in this case is whether or not derivatives of illegal evidence are permissible in court. The ruling, delivered by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., was that to permit derivatives would encourage police to circumvent the Fourth Amendment, so the illegal copied evidence was held tainted and inadmissible. This precedent later became known as the "fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine," and is an extension of the exclusionary rule.
|Silverthorne Lumber Co. v. United States|
|Argued December 12, 1919|
Decided January 26, 1920
|Full case name||Silverthorne Lumber Co., Inc., et al. v. United States|
|Citations||251 U.S. 385 (more)|
|To permit derivatives would encourage police to circumvent the Fourth Amendment, so the illegal copied evidence was held tainted and inadmissible.|
|Majority||Holmes, joined by McKenna, Day, Van Devanter, McReynolds, Brandeis, Clark|
Chief Justice White and Associate Justice Pitney dissented without a written opinion.