Orange County’s Informant Investigation Continues
A case against mass murderer Scott Dekraai, among other highly publicized cases, has brought public accountability with regard to jailhouse “snitches” and withheld evidence on part of county law enforcement.
Assistant Public Defender Scott Sanders made accusations toward the prosecution of obtaining evidence through internal contacts within the jail. These contacts wrangle details and confessions out of their fellow inmates in return for weakened sentencing. Veiled for years, these accusations are now drawing in federal attention. Federal justice officials’ involvement has amped up scrutiny of internal systems, and Orange County lawmakers are expanding the local Office of Independent Review.
Two hundred and fifty lawyers from the staff of the district attorney were removed from Dekraai’s case following Sanders’ accusation; the consequences of these potential dishonesties manifest in a review of cases over the years, and the possible revising of sentences-even for those who have pleaded guilty, like Dekraai. Special counsel Mike Gennaco has proposed a centralized office: the Office of Independent Review.
However, this centralized office is not the only direction investigation into these issues is taking: Multiple groups and individuals within the county are developing their own ways of examining accusations made regarding informants. Gennaco noted: “Everybody is moving in their own, independent direction. … People aren’t working together.” The State Attorney General has an investigation underway, as does Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens, through internal investigators. Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas has built up a council of outside sources to examine the issue as well.
If you or someone you know has had their defense compromised by illegal informant information or withheld evidence, contact the Law Offices of Glew & Kim today at 714-713-4525 for a free case review.
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