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03-26-11, 07:21 PM #1
Calls from jail used to convict prisonersAmazingly, detainees keep calling from jail despite posted signs warning that their calls are being recorded. A taped messageat the start of each call also reminds them of monitoring. Some detainees use the phone as many as five times a day. Authorities estimate some inmates make hundreds of calls while waiting for their cases to come up.
"I guess they feel that in tens of thousands (of calls), theirs might be the one that doesn't get listened to, but all inmate calls are recorded," says Andrea Hall, who directs the intelligence unit for New York City's Department of Corrections.
Some detainees aren't exactly Einsteins.
Kessler says one man who apparently knew he was being monitored warned someone on the other end to speak in Spanish, thinking they wouldn't be understood. "We had one (mother) who said to her son, 'They may be listening.' And his response was 'Mom, they don't have time for this.' "
Yes, actually, they do. At the district attorney's office, prosecutors wearing headphones listen to hour after hour of admissible recordings. Calls to attorneys and clergy are exempt.
Some defense attorneys are unhappy about it.
However, CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin says in jail, rights are limited. "It's not unfair. It's prison. And when you're in prison, you lose certain rights, like the ability to have phone calls in privacy."
The innovative legal tool is gaining so much traction that Kessler is in demand across the country. He's being asked to teach other prosecutors how to tap into jailhouse calls in domestic violence cases.
In Queens, it appears to be working. Until last year, the district attorney's office was dismissing about 70% of its cases. Now, in large part because of the recordings, the dismissal rate is down to 15%.
A 24-year-old victim interviewed by CNN says her boyfriend, Ishaaq Rahaman, repeatedly attacked her.
"He punched me in the face. My lip was bleeding," she says. Yet, on jailhouse recordings, he says he wants to marry her. Before his arrest, she says, they had good times, but then he would turn on her. "Sometimes, I'm scared to sleep with him. Like, lay down with him, 'cause you never know what he could do to me."
Rahaman's girlfriend didn't want to testify against him and didn't have to. In part because of the recordings, Rahaman pleaded guilty.
He was recently sentenced to two to six years in prison for contacting her from jail.
On behalf of his client, Rahaman's lawyer declined comment on the recorded phone calls.
Jailhouse calls also recently helped convict Eric Persaud. He's sentenced to 13 years in prison for burning his girlfriend with the iron and attempting to bribe her into silence.
03-26-11, 07:45 PM #2"It's not unfair. It's prison. And when you're in prison, you lose certain rightsDo not war for peace. If you must war, war for justice. For without justice there is no peace. -me
We are who we choose to be.
R.I.P. Arielle. 08/20/2010-09/16/2012
03-26-11, 10:03 PM #3
Here, actual monitoring is sometimes rare, but the recordings are available. I used them on several cases when I was in CID. Helped in ID'ing co-defendants, recovering property, and shoring up cases with self admissions.Blessed are the the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. MATT 5:10
03-26-11, 11:58 PM #4
It's effective here, even with the inmate knowing they're being recorded. They'll get comfortable and forget about it and start screwing themselves."Like" us on facebook! https://www.facebook.com/pages/Offic...93147194083228
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03-27-11, 12:57 AM #5
Jail calls helped convict a murderer in my county.No one has greater love than this, to lay down ones life for ones friends - John 15:13
"The Wicked Flee When No Man Pursueth: But The Righteous Are Bold As A Lion".
We lucky few, we band of brothers. For he who today sheds his blood with me shall be my brother.
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