Thank you for asking me “What are the “Fruits of the Poisonous Tree”?”
The “fruit of the poisonous tree” is a legal doctrine which excludes what would otherwise be admissible evidence except that the evdience was attained because of a constitutional violation by law enforcement.
The concept stems from a US Supreme Court case called “Wong Sun”.
In Wong Sun narcotics agents had illegally entered a laundry mat and got a guy named Toy to tell them that a guy named Johnny was selling drugs. Naturally the narcs went to Johnnys, found the dope, shook Johnny down and made a deal which ended with Johnny giving up his supplier… yes, you guessed it, the supplier was a guy named Wong Sun.
So, naturally, the narcotics agents arrested Wong Sun, who, for reasons unknown, several days after bring arrested and released from jail, voluntarily returned to the police station and confessed.
The case made it’s way up to the US Supreme Court which ultimately held that, because the initial entry into Toy’s laundry mat was illegal both Toy’s statements and the resulting drugs that the narcs found at Johnny’s should both be excluded as “fruits of the poisonous tree”.
Unfortunately for Wong Sun the Supreme Court did not exclude / suppress his “several days later confession”, primarily because it was independent of any unlawful police conduct, proving that if the fruit is sufficiently “attenuated” then it will not be suppressed
At Michael A. Haber, PA “it’s all about reasonable doubt”!
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