In United States v. Watkins, No. 18-14336 (Aug. 20, 2021), the en banc Court—in a joint opinion by Judges Martin and Ed Carnes—granted the defendant’s rehearing petition and vacated the panel opinion without oral argument.
The en banc Court held that the standard of proof that the government must meet in order to establish that evidence would have been inevitably discovered is the preponderance of evidence, not a “reasonable probability.” All prior Eleventh Circuit precedents to the contrary are overruled. The Eleventh Circuit remanded the case back to the panel for further proceedings consistent with this new holding.
Major congrats to Caroline for making good law for the Circuit!