July 15, 2020 Criminal Justice Matters

Trolling for Informants inside Detention Facilities

J. Vincent Aprile II

As a result of Massiah v. United States, 377 U.S. 201 (1964), after a judicial proceeding has been commenced against an accused and the right to counsel under the Sixth Amendment has attached, no statement deliberately elicited by the government from the accused in the absence of counsel is admissible at the accused’s trial. This in effect made unconstitutional the practice of the government recruiting an inmate confined in the same detention facility with an accused awaiting trial to elicit a confession from the accused in a supposed friendly conversation.

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