The Orange County jailhouse informant scandal has upended criminal cases and led to state and federal investigations into how prosecutors and jailers used snitches to obtain confessions from other inmates.
Now the scandal is heading to civil court.
The American Civil Liberties Union has sued the district attorney’s office and the Sheriff’s Department, claiming that the two law enforcement agencies have engaged in an elaborate scheme to violate defendants’ constitutional rights through a secret network of jailhouse informants.
The lawsuit, filed early Wednesday in Orange County Superior Court, accuses prosecutors and sheriff’s officials of deploying “professional” informants for decades, using databases and a special log to track their movements and interactions in the jails. The complaint claims that the district attorney’s office illegally withheld information about the informants from defense attorneys.
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