As you know, we have been closely following the emerging crisis in Orange County involving informants. In March Orange County Superior Court Judge Thomas Goethals removed the OC DA’s office from a case because of its failure to comply with discovery and basic due process rights related to the informant scandal.
On May 27, Al Jazeera’s show “America Tonight,” did an in-depth segment focusing on the scandal which went over the lengthy history of informant misconduct in the county. The program includes interviews with attorneys and audio from one of the jailhouse informants–a man who admitted to killing six people–talking with his jail handlers. Noted constitutional scholar Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the law school at the University of California at Irvine will discuss the situation. Dean Chemerinsky has already called for an independent investigation of the informant crisis and in this segment suggests that the Department of Justice should step in.
In the full segment, victim’s husband Paul Wilson spoke about the pain prosecutors’ actions have caused him and said that no one is above the law. Unfortunately, this powerful clip isn’t in the condensed version available online, but it’s still very much worth watching for a great primer on the issue.
Here is the full clip.
Al Jazeera has also posted several audio clips online which reveal detectives negotiating with a jailhouse informant about giving him “options” and the possibility of cash once released.
Update: Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick just published a terrific piece on the crisis.