News 01.06.16

Committee Releases Report on Orange County Prosecutors’ Misuse of Jailhouse Informants

In a report released Monday, a committee of legal experts appointed by Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas to investigate complaints about the misuse of jailhouse informants in the district cited a “failure of leadership” in his own office and a lack of police training in state and federal laws regarding informants, reports the

Los Angeles Times

. The report, which also examined issues within the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, was prompted by the “ever-widening scandal in which prosecutors and law enforcement officers have been accused of misusing inmate informants and failing to disclose key evidence to defendants,” writes the

Los Angeles Times

.

The report provided 10 recommendations which, the committee says, will restore confidence in the Orange County criminal justice system, including that the Orange County District Attorney’s Office revise its policies and procedures regarding the use of jailhouse informants and overhaul its training program for prosecutors and law enforcement officers and to “promote prosecutors who place justice ahead of legal victories,” reports the

Los Angeles Times

.

The committee also asked that an investigation into the offices dealings with inmates be conducted by an independent body. Rackauckas followed up on that recommendation by sending a letter to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch to ask for such a review. 

The controversy began when the attorney of a defendant charged with a mass-shooting accused the office of violating his client’s constitutional rights by conspiring to elicit incriminating remarks from him when he was placed in a cell next to a known police informant.

The

Los Angeles Times

reports: Rackauckas said it “stings” to see the informant scandal described in Monday’s report as a “failure of leadership” but dismissed the idea that he had mismanaged the office. He said he had no plans to resign.

Read the report

here

.

Read the

Los Angeles Times

story

here

.  

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