Monday, March 5, 2012

Listening in

While Harris County is looking to install video conferencing in the jail and promising that the integrity of the attorney-client relationship will not be compromised, the word on the street is that the Galveston County Jail was recording phone calls from the jail between inmates and their attorneys. And, as if that's not bad enough, some of these recordings were forwarded to the Galveston County District Attorney's Office.

Of course Jack Roady, the Galveston County DA, claims that the procedure is being stopped. Excuse me, Jack? "Being stopped?" Really. Either the phone calls are being recorded or they aren't. It's quite easy to stop the procedure.

The very fact that those calls were recorded raises the question of whether or not an agent of the state listened. And what about those cases in which the DA didn't request recordings of jail house phone calls? How many people had their right not to incriminate themselves infringed upon by Galveston County? How many had their right to privileged communication with their attorneys violated?

Now it's time for the DA's Office to come clean and notify defendants and their attorneys on all cases in which these recordings were made and forwarded to the prosecutors. If there is any honor in the office, Mr. Roady should sign off on orders granting writs of habeas corpus in each and every one of those cases.

The actions of Galveston County are reprehensible and call into question the validity of the criminal (in)justice system on the island.

Here's a little Blondie for y'all.

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