Jailhouse Informants Case Study

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This brings the current issue to light, which is the use of Jailhouse informants and questions as to whether the use of such practices is in violation of the Fifth and Sixth Amendment right to council. The Orange County District Attorney’s Office along with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department have been under heavy scrutiny lately over allegations of evidence obtained in their use of jailhouse informants in criminal trials is a violation of the accused’s right to due process. This has led to the Department of Justice being called in to investigate such allegations and a committee being created by District Attorney Tony Rackauckas to evaluate his office’s use of jailhouse informants (Ferner, 2015). “Orange County prosecutors’ ‘win at all costs’ …show more content…
In order to determine if the use of jailhouse informants is indeed a violation of a suspects rights it is important to look at was the law says. Miranda v. Arizona established that a defendant must be read their rights prior to custodial interrogation; if an offender is in jail he is in fact in legal custody, so he must be read his rights prior to law enforcement questioning. If an informant questions another inmate in exchange for personal benefits, i.e. a lighter sentence, he is indeed acting on behalf of law enforcement and this is a violation of the offender’s rights. Arizona v. Fulminante established that it is indeed a violation of one’s rights if a confession is gained through coercion of some sort. Therefore, if an informant says that I will hurt you if you do not tell me the truth about what you did, the confession is not legal. Lastly, Montejo v. Louisiana established that if a defendant does not express their desire to a right to council after being read their rights, they could still interrogate this person and use any information obtained thereafter. So the question remains, is it legal or just to use jailhouse informants? “It’s perfectly legal for law enforcement to use jailhouse informants. But it is illegal for law enforcement to deliberately deploy informants to coax incriminating statements from a defendant …show more content…
However, if the DA’s Office and law enforcement are going to use jailhouse informants, it needs to be done right and there needs to be better training on how to conduct this sort of operation legally to avoid further confusion and violating anyone’s rights. In the case of the Dekraai scenario, the use of a jailhouse informant was questionable because the over eager informant initiated the conversation and was pressing the suspect for

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