Re: Fruit of the poisoned tree
"But if the point of the legal system is to accurately determine who is guilty and who isn't, then discarding evidence seems to be somewhat counter-intuitive."
But if it's been obtained illegally, it may not in fact be evidence. The whole point of chain of evidence is that it's not been tampered with. If it is obtained in a fashion not in line with the rules governing evidence, then it is invalid from the first.
At what point to you draw the line? Are we allowed to torture suspects to make them confess, since that is also illegally obtained evidence? How about entrapment? Or evidence tampering, because a cop *knows* you are guilty?
Almost always the difference between legally gathered and illegally gathered evidence is whether the police presented evidence to the courts that would justify a warrant *before* doing the search. That the cops will avoid this if they can is perceived by the judiciary as them attempting to circumvent certain checks and balances, which is why it will often get a severe reprimand.
While TV and Hollywood like to present court cases as being very clear cut, with irrefutable evidence and no contradictions, almost always there are at least some things that do not completely line up. Hence why a jury or magistrate has to weigh the evidence and testimony and decide from there.