Not in Kansas Anymore? Sixth Amendment Rights

Not in Kansas Anymore? Sixth Amendment Rights

Earlier this week, we posted about a failure to cooperate between two parties in a pay discrimination case. Today’s post is on the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Kansas ending its cooperation with an investigation at the pretrial detention facility in Leavenworth.

According to a report by KCUR, the investigation centers on the taping of attorney-client meetings and phone calls at the Kansas facility. Believing that their clients’ Sixth Amendment rights were violated, many criminal defense lawyers filed motions to dismiss cases against their clients. In addition, attorneys and former detainees filed two class-action lawsuits over the tapings.

In his report, David R. Cohen, the special master investigating the matter, commended the two companies facing the lawsuits: CoreCivic Inc., the operator of the prison and Securus Technologies who provided phone services for the prison. It’s in contrast, he says, to the 24-page letter written by Steven D. Clymer, the federal prosecutor appointed to be the contact between Cohen and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Kansas. Per KCUR:

“The letter cites a variety of reasons for declining Cohen’s requests for information, including the assertion that there is no evidence suggesting there were any Sixth Amendment right-to-counsel violations.”

In particular in the letter, Clymer states that there isn’t any evidence that any defendant indicted in the Black case (filed by the U.S. Attorney’s office and accusing inmates and guards of smuggling drugs into the prison) had their Sixth Amendment rights violated.

In his report to the U.S. district judge that appointed him, Clymer states his surprise at the U.S. Attorney’s decision, which, he says, does little to change the mistrust that exists between the Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Kansas and defense counsel.

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