Citizens that are arrested and taken into custody are guaranteed very specific rights under the U.S. Constitution. If you have been suspected of a crime, one of the most important decisions you will make involves selecting your criminal defense attorney, and one of the most important aspects of our criminal justice system is the attorney-client privilege you are entitled to as part of that relationship with your criminal defense attorney (in your attorney’s role to provide you with the best defense possible). Specifically, this confidentiality is protected under due process and the right to counsel under the 6th Amendment.
On August 12th, a startling story was released concerning evidence that the private contractor operating Corrections Corporation America (CCA) actually recorded confidential conversations between inmates and their attorneys, and provided this information (video recordings) to government prosecutors.
Legal Ethics Rules
Every state in the country—including Rhode Island—has ethics rules which prohibit secret recordings like these, and which fall under the category of deceit and misrepresentation. Attorneys and their clients have the right to expect privacy and confidentiality in their meetings.
Thus far, the scandal has mostly affected federal inmates at in Kansas and Missouri; namely CCA Leavenworth, a pretrial detention center that houses inmates from various states, with over 85 facilities all over the country. It is still unknown whether CCA has recorded these meetings at other facilities, and, if so, whether these recordings were also turned over to prosecutors. In light of this right being violated by way of video recordings, some legal experts have likened what occurred at the CCA Leavenworth facility as being similar to breaking into someone’s home, regardless of to what extent the communication was ever actually used.
The CCA facility representatives have countered that while they have never recorded verbal conversations between inmates and their attorneys, video recordings of those meetings—without the sound—have always been standard practice in detention and correctional facilities in order to provide “safety” and “security.” Those concerned about the violation of criminal defendants’ rights point out that, in the videos, it is easy to read lips, observe demeanors, and view computer screens and documents, thus violating that sacred attorney-client confidentiality. In addition, those attorneys recorded were allegedly never informed that they were being recorded in their meetings in the first place.
Criminal Defense Attorneys in Providence, Rhode Island
One of the most important decisions you might ever have to make is the selection of the right criminal defense lawyer to represent you or your family. You deserve an attorney with the determination and knowledge to get you the best result possible when facing criminal charges.
The firm of Dana and Dana is dedicated to the aggressive representation of clients involving all aspects of Rhode Island and Massachusetts Criminal Defense. We have the experience and expertise to ensure the highest quality criminal defense representation possible. Contact us today for a free consultation with our Rhode Island criminal defense attorneys. We will ensure that your rights are protected.