In the OC, Suspects Don’t Get an Attorney: They Get an Informant

This post originally appeared on the ACLU of Northern California website.

“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to speak to an attorney, and to have an attorney present during any questioning...”

For anyone who watches legal dramas and cop shows, this line is pretty familiar. Under the Fifth Amendment, anyone in police custody has the right to be advised by an attorney during questioning. At least that’s how it’s supposed to work.

But if you’ve been charged with a crime in Orange County sometime over the past several decades, the following scenario appears to have played out all too frequently. One night you’re in your cell, when another inmate begins talking to you. He expresses interest in your well-being and builds your trust by giving you advice about how to make it in the jail. Eventually, he starts to ask you about your case. 

Little do you know that deputies with the sheriff’s department placed you and this jailhouse informant together — the informant posing as just another inmate — so that the informant could illegally question you about your case. Even worse, when that informant becomes a witness at your trial, the prosecution never reveals how you actually came together or shares the full story of the witness’ history as an informant.

Shocking evidence has emerged of a system-wide violation of defendants’ rights being orchestrated in Orange County, California. And the illegal use of jailhouse informants that has been uncovered so far appears to be just the tip of the iceberg. Both the sheriff’s department and the district attorney’s office are implicated in grave misconduct. And as far as we can tell, the corruption has been going on for over 25 years.

We estimate that thousands of people in Orange County may have had their civil rights violated while navigating a criminally dysfunctional justice system. At the same time, informants have enjoyed benefits, ranging from dismissal of charges, reduction of sentences, and, even in some instances, protection from prosecution for crimes as serious as murder.

Not only has the Orange County Sheriff’s Department been secretly facilitating efforts by jailhouse informants to elicit statements from fellow inmates, but the Orange County District Attorney’s office appears to have systemically concealed evidence about these informants from defense attorneys, including evidence that would exonerate defendants.

Though a number of journalists have reported on the widespread miscarriage of justice being orchestrated Orange County, we don’t yet know how far this misconduct has gone.

Last week, the ACLU joined with several organizations and experts to call on the Department of Justice to open an investigation. The situation in Orange County is too big, and too political, to be handled by any other entity.

There is significant evidence of prosecutorial and law enforcement misconduct going on for decades. We need the DOJ to get to the bottom of this, and fast.

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Anonymous

Cecilia

I am so sorry to hear this. Bless you. I wish I could know you and help you stay strong and fight this fight. Everything you say is so true. It’s unreal how the dark forces have taken over our world. But I have a feeling the end is near

My son is currently in RIVERSIDE COUNTY JAIL ON MURDER CHARGES. My son has mental illness and was in major crisis at time. His roommate was injecting my son with meth on two occasions telling my son it was vitamin B12.just a couple days before the accident… my sons too trusting. No fatality shows up for the accident either. And they won’t transfer my sons case to the proper court. Mental Health court isn’t the easy way out. But it’s effective and works way better than jail and costs less too for tax payers. My sons getting punished because it was him who was suppose to die in accident. When he survived the powers that be had to get really creative and even more corrupt. I copied everything and safe guarded it all. I look now on coroners report 4 months later and it still shows nothing but a odd addition is listed with no name or even age. It wasn’t there before.

Anonymous

THATS SO TRUE,THE ASSESSORS ARENT LICENCED OR CERTIFIED THE JUDGES DONT HAVE OATHS OR BONDS, ITS A MARSHALL LAW COURT..PEOPLE ARE BEING THROWN OUT OF THEIR HOMES,HOMELESS.EVERYWHERE..THE COUNTY TAKES EVERYTHING I MAKE FOR PROPERTY TAXES! GREEDY CORUPT COUNTY! look up the county ASSESSORS,THE JUDGES! no certifications licenses oath! INSANE!!!! TERRIBLE PLACE TO LIVE! iIAM MOVING OUT!

Pat Porter. 94...

I'm about to end up in jail for something n I swear I'm not guilty.! I took Polygraph Test n I passed for two cases where: the first case I never got my day in court. Found Guilty n my case as defendant never was heard. ; 2nd I've not any violence on my record n yet I struck an officer when there were two of them n I at that time could not even lift either arm!! Also left arm three or for muscles n ligaments are not attached n right shoulder, same problem had just had surgery. Still supposedly, I was able to get up from the grass n proceed to finish walking my dog. Plus as a t. I. I have numerous tales for massive lawsuits other than these I Need Help, PLS

Steve D.

It's true.
Gangstalking (a term likely coined by the people participating in this crime to begin with) is a serious issue. People participating in this crime get followed on a daily basis, accused of crimes they haven't committed in an effort to defame them and/or defend their sick syndicated brethren and flat-out tortured. I myself have been tortured since my 21st birthday. These people have been messing with my nervous system causing contortions all around my body on a day-to-day basis as well as remotely inflicted heart attacks. Theyeah broken into my property (I have proof) and first responders seem to be heavily heavily involved (firefighters, police, etc.) The Krich files document this well. Their technology is ridiculous and evil, but not as ridiculous and evil as the people behind it.

This is a real problem.
Not just in the states, but across the globe.

...Ever have half your brain shut down and have your heart messed with remotely while firefighters honk and laugh and make your smoke detector go off?

Steve D.

It's true.
Gangstalking (a term likely coined by the people participating in this crime to begin with) is a serious issue. People participating in this crime follow the victim a daily basis, victims get accused of crimes they haven't committed in an effort to defame them and/or defend their sick syndicated brethren and others flat-out tortured. I myself have been tortured since my 21st birthday. These people have been messing with my nervous system causing contortions all around my body on a day-to-day basis as well as remotely inflicted heart attacks. They've broken into my property (I have proof) and first responders seem to be heavily heavily involved (firefighters, police, etc.) The Krich files document this well. Their technology is ridiculous and evil, but not as ridiculous and evil as the people behind it. They even use the deaths of others in their harassment toward targets.

This is a real problem.
Not just in the states, but across the globe.

...Ever have half your brain shut down and have your heart messed with remotely while firefighters honk and laugh and make your smoke detector go off?

It gives you a pretty good idea just how depraved these people are.

God bless the victims of this evil.
It will surely be exposed one day.

Steve D.

My apologies, that would be the Krlich Files.

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