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Orange County Snitch Program Jeopardizes Justice

For decades, the Orange County Sheriff and the District Attorney have used jailhouse "snitches" to collect incriminating information on jailed defendants.  The snitches cooperate with law enforcement in exchange for reduced sentences. But as the Orange County Register reports, much of the snitch program was discovered to be illegal because defendants’ attorneys were not informed that informants were gathering information on their clients.  

The missteps and misconduct has derailed, overturned and re-opened numerous criminal cases. The most famous case effected by this scandal is that of Scott Dekraai. Dekraai is the admitted killer of eight people at a hair salon in Seal Beach in 2011. Despite his guilty plea, Dekraai was placed in a cell next to an informant without Dekraai’s attorney being informed. His sentencing has been delayed for years.

How far is law enforcement willing to go and what are the repercussions of using jailhouse informants? The Orange County Register takes you “Inside the Snitch Tank.”

Featuring Interviews With:

  • Alexandra Natapoff, author, “Snitching”
  • Tony Saavedra, OC Register investigative reporter

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The following changes were made to the original episode:
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