This Comment will examine the substantial differences between Division One's current version of inevitable discovery and that adopted by the U.S. Supreme Court in Nix, which is still the only version affirmatively accepted by the Washington Supreme Court. Having distinguished the differences, this Comment ultimately suggests an amalgamation of the most desirable parts of each version of the inevitable discovery exception. The author proposes that the "reasonableness" element demanded by Division One is duplicative and unnecessarily burdensome on the prosecution. The version proposed by this Comment recognizes the potential benefits to the search for truth and to the societal interest in effective enforcement of its laws to be realized in inevitable discovery. To counter concerns that the exclusionary rule will be destroyed without the "reasonableness" requirement, the proposed version requires a sufficient quantum of proven facts to prevent careless application of the inevitable discovery doctrine.
David Seaver, Inevitable Discovery in Washington State and the Unreasonable "Reasonableness" Requirement, 23 SEATTLE U. L. REV. 431 (1999).