ACLU Sues O.C. DA, Sheriff’s Department Over Alleged Misuse of Jailhouse Informants

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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.

Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas has denied the misuse of jailhouse informants was systemic. (Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas has denied the misuse of jailhouse informants was systemic. (Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

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.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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