In a high-stakes bid to wrest control of California's prison system from federal oversight, opposing lawyers for the state and for 33,000 inmates sparred Wednesday over whether the state violated legal ethics by interviewing mentally ill prisoners...
|Scooped by Doingtime2|
The lawyers describe the sessions as being conducted in secret despite the legal requirement that they be present for all those tours and interviews.
"They interviewed our mentally ill clients without our knowledge about the case and then they used the evidence (to buttress their claims that conditions in the prisons have improved)," Don Specter, head of the Prison Law Office, told reporters after the hearing.
"They didn't really explain to the mentally ill clients what the purpose of the interviews were, so the inmates had no idea who they were speaking to, they had no idea for the reason."
Those interviews and the 50 expert declarations based on them that were filed with the court by the state now are at the heart of a heated dispute over whether California has made enough progress in improving access to mental health care at a constitutional level inside its prisons.
The inmate attorneys want the declarations thrown out, a move that would cripple the state's efforts in court to rid its self of the 23-year-old class action.
Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2013/03/27/5297978/federal-judge-accuses-state-of.html#.UVpnexHtdRQ.gmail#storylink=cpy