Latest Abuse: Feds Reading Emails Between Prisoners And Their Lawyers

from the because-they-can dept

Another day, another story of abuse by federal prosecutors. The latest is that they're now regularly reading the emails between inmates and their lawyers. These are the kinds of things that most people believe should be part of confidential attorney-client privilege. And, for quite some time, prosecutors respected that. However, now they're claiming that since prisoners using the prison email system agree to a notice upfront saying their communications may be monitored, they gave up that right.
Inmates’ calls to or from lawyers, however, are generally exempt from such monitoring. But across the country, federal prosecutors have begun reading prisoners’ emails to lawyers — a practice wholly embraced in Brooklyn, where prosecutors have said they intend to read such emails in almost every case.

The issue has spurred court battles over whether inmates have a right to confidential email communications with their lawyers — a question on which federal judges have been divided.
The "divide" from judges seems pretty ridiculous. Some judges say it's okay in part because inmates have other ways to communicate privately with their lawyers, but everyone with a basis in reality notes that those "other ways" (mainly letters) take forever and really hamper the ability of an inmate to work with his or her lawyers. But, some courts just don't care.
The judge overseeing that case, Allyne R. Ross, ruled on Thursday that the government was allowed to review the emails. “The government’s policy does not ‘unreasonably interfere’ with Mr. DiFiore’s ability to consult his counsel,” she wrote.

In Dr. Ahmed’s case, the judge, Dora L. Irizarry, ruled against the government last month, barring it “from looking at any of the attorney-client emails, period.”
This certainly seems like one of those issues that's destined for the Supreme Court in the near future.

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  1. identicon
    Raging Alcoholic, 25 Jul 2014 @ 9:31am

    Re:

    No doubt. The government, in its efforts to get what it wants, seems to be willing to violate some of our most fundamental right. Attorney-client privilege is, perhaps, more important than priest-penitent or doctor-patient privilege.
    They are willing to invade our privacy with illegal listening. The FBI seems to be creating conspiracies for itself to stop. The DEA won't back off on its drug busts and the IRS does nasty stuff to the political opposition of the president. Then there is Hillary Clinton and Benghazi.

    It is pretty scary. I mean, when you don't know if you can trust the authorities you are really in mess. All the stuff I mentioned above are Gestapo like tactics.

    I am no fan of Bill Clinton but wouldn't it be nice to just have a horny frat boy to worry about.

    The government we have now is terrifying. These guys don't even know what they are doing is wrong. They just don't get it.

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