Privileged Phone Calls NOT Protected by 6th Amendment?
Government Responds: Recording Privileged Phone Calls Not a 6th Amendment Violation
by Shari Dovale
On November 8, 2017, Ryan Payne filed a motion for dismissal with prejudice in the Bunkerville Standoff case because the government was caught recording attorney-client phone calls. In general, the specific calls cited were for co-defendant Blaine Cooper.
These calls are considered privileged and protected by the 6th Amendment, which reads:
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.
On December 4, 2017 the prosecutors responded to the motion and requested that the Court deny the motion, including calling it “meritless”.
Within their response, they refer to Payne’s motion (emphasis added):
Defendant asserts that the Superseding Indictment should be dismissed because the government represented in response to its previous motion in October 2016 that it had no jail calls between defendants and their counsel from CCAPahrump, but now privileged calls have been produced relating to another defendant, the prosecutors did not know attorney calls were included, and therefore collectively, the government has acted with flagrant misconduct.
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