I Would Bet That It Has

In Broward County, Florida, the judge has kicked the whole DA’s office off a murder case because two prosecutors had listened to two phone calls between the jailed accused and his lawyer. (H/T Social Services for Feral Children.) The trial started in September; it’s “on hold” now (not even a mistrial?).

In her order, the judge wrote that ”anyone who has turned on the television in the last 10 years knows” that such conduct would be a violation of attorney-client privilege (she’s apparently referring to the opening of some vile Dick Wolf franchise; maybe a reader can enlighten me).

Here in Harris County, prosecutors order CDs of jail inmates’ outgoing calls in some cases. Considering that for the last eight years they were led by a guy who thought it was a good idea to send two undercover police officers posing as defense lawyers into the city jail to talk with a defendant there on cocaine charges, one has to wonder how Harris County prosecutors have responded to hearing a recording of the accused talking to his lawyer.

I’ve never heard of an incident in which a prosecutor disclosed to a defense lawyer that jail calls to the lawyer had been provided by the Sheriff’s Office to the DA’s Office. Yet such calls must have been provided from time to time. How could it not have?

Prosecutors, drop me a comment if you have had any experience with this.

(Houston criminal-defense lawyers, if you want to ask that calls from clients to you not be recorded, contact:

Captain John Hart
c/o Harris County Sheriff’s Office
1200 Baker St.
Houston, Texas 77002)

0 responses to “I Would Bet That It Has”

  1. One thing I don’t like about newspaper articles on prosecutorial misconduct is they don’t mention the names of the prosecutors. This article did mention them, once: Brad Weissman and Julie Vogel. I would have put their names in every paragraph. How can a prosecutor claim, with a straight face, that a prisoner’s saying “yes” to a canned tape on a jail phone constitutes a waiver of attorney-client privilege? What happens to an attorney who, presumably, passed the MPRE at one time, but now places more importance on winning than on behaving ethically? And then failing to disclose to defense counsel that they had listened to him discuss strategy with his client? The judge regretted that the prosecutors didn’t act with common sense; how about common decency?

    IMHO Weissman and Vogel are amoral psychopaths. The Florida Bar should go after their license. And for the sake of everything holy, Judge, why haven’t you discharged this poor jury yet?

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