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February 27, 2011 / Anna Louie Sussman

And…you’re live! Violent partners admit abuse on tape

The extraordinarily awesome Bill Glaberson of the NYT has a great story today on prosecutors in Queens who use prison phone call recordings as evidence against domestic abusers in their trials.  The recordings are critical, he points out:

The tapes overcome one of the biggest hurdles prosecutors face in such cases: that 75 percent of the time, the women who were victimized stop helping prosecutors, often after speaking to the men accused of abusing them.

….

In the Queens Boulevard courthouse where Mr. Kessler’s assistant district attorneys handle more than 6,000 domestic violence cases a year, the jailhouse recordings have become an appalling kind of reality radio, a fly-on-the-wall guide to the chilling intimacies of domestic violence.

Seeing the headline, my first instinct was that an article like this – assuming it winds its way back to the prison halls – is that it will give away the prosecutor’s secrets, and the prisoners will figure out not to say incriminating things like this dumb a**hole did:

A defendant named Juan Mighty explained that it was jealousy that had led him to knife the woman “a little.” But he conceded that the scene had been gory. “There was mad blood in the house, T.,” he said in a call to his brother. “There was mad blood in the house.”

But according to the story, inmates are told their calls are taped.  So there’s no issue of deceit or entrapment, just the one little problem of rampant stupidity.

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