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Crime and Courts

Federal Judge Orders Investigation Into Attorney-Client Recordings At Leavenworth Prison

Peter Taylor
flickr Creative Commons

A federal judge on Wednesday ordered an investigation into whether federal prosecutors have been using recordings of attorney-client meetings at Leavenworth prison illicitly.

In a blistering 48-page order, U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson wrote that there are “grave concerns about government intrusion into attorney-client communications.”

Revelations that conversations between Leavenworth inmates and their lawyers were being taped surfaced last summer in a criminal case alleging that scores of people had conspired to smuggle contraband within the prison.

The disclosures caused an uproar among defense attorneys, who claimed their clients’ Sixth Amendment rights were violated.

Judge Robinson has now directed an outside expert to determine if federal prosecutors intentionally obtained the audio and video recordings.

And she wants to know if the government impermissibly used those recordings in the contraband and other cases involving Leavenworth inmates.

Dan Margolies is KCUR’s health editor. You can reach him on Twitter @DanMargolies.