Thursday, October 06, 2016

Defense lawyers concerned about secret jailhouse recordings in Bunkerville standoff case

Lawyers for one of the defendants in the Bunkerville standoff case say they are concerned that private phone conversations with their client are being secretly recorded at the federal detention center in Pahrump and turned over to prosecutors. In court papers filed late Monday, Ryan Payne’s public defenders say they were told that the unlawful practice occurred in an unrelated criminal case involving an inmate at the Nevada Southern Detention Center in Pahrump, and they want to know whether it happened in their case and others. “Denying Mr. Payne the ability to speak confidentially with counsel threatens a violation of his Sixth Amendment right to the effective assistance of counsel,” the lawyers wrote. The Nevada U.S. attorney’s office turned over to the defense in the unrelated case “several audio recordings” of jailhouse calls between attorneys and their client, according to Assistant Federal Public Defenders William Carrico, Ryan Norwood and Brenda Weksler. And that warrants a look into whether prosecutors have obtained similar recordings in the Bunkerville standoff case, the public defenders argued. The lawyers want a federal judge to order the government to turn over any recordings of privileged phone conversations between them and Payne and instruct the company that runs the detention center, Corrections Corporation of America, to stop the practice...more

And in this article another attorney raises the same issue in a different case:
A defense lawyer has stepped forward to allege the federal detention center in Pahrump secretly recorded her confidential phone conversations with a client and then turned over the recordings to prosecutors in the case. Kathleen Bliss, a former longtime federal prosecutor, cited the alleged attorney-client breaches this week in a motion to dismiss a robbery case against her client, Robert Kincade, because of government misconduct.  In her motion, Bliss said prosecutors in June turned over hundreds of recordings of Kincade at the detention center, including some with her. “Not only does this conduct violate established professional and ethical rules of conduct, it is a clear violation of Kincade’s Sixth Amendment rights,” Bliss wrote. “To vindicate that fair trial right, a defendant must be able to freely and privately communicate with his attorney.” Prosecutors will get a chance to respond to Bliss in writing. Bliss said in her motion that the recorded calls occurred from April 2014 to April 2015, but she added there is “no indication that the government voluntarily ceased obtaining such communications.”


Dave Pickel said...

There will be plenty more obfuscation and BS before it's all over. The facts of the matter will prevail I'm sure though.

Frank DuBois said...

Let's hope so. But in the Oregon case the judge is not allowing all of the facts in as evidence. And in Nevada, if indeed they have impeded the right to a fair trial, that is hardly BS.