TBA Law Blog

Posted by: Katharine Heriges on Jul 20, 2018
In a unanimous opinion issued today, the Tennessee Supreme Court affirmed the convictions of Lindsey Lowe for first-degree murder and aggravated child abuse, stemming from the deaths of her newborn twins caused by her smothering the infants shortly after birth. Prior to trial, Lowe moved to suppress evidence obtained under a search warrant, but the trial court denied the motion to suppress, relying on the Exclusionary Rule Reform Act (ERRA). The Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the judgments of the trial court, but in its ruling, the Supreme Court found that ERRA violates the separation of powers clause of the Tennessee Constitution, encroaching on the judiciary’s authority by legislatively mandating an exception to the exclusionary rule. However, the Court then adopted a good-faith exception to the exclusionary rule set forth in Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 41 and upheld the trial court’s admission of the evidence seized under the search warrant.