For a quarter of a century, the Orange County Sheriff's Department (OCSD) operated one of the nation's longest frauds on the criminal-justice system through a secret, computerized records system called TRED. In late 2014, Superior Court Judge Thomas M. Goethals forced a monumentally resistant OCSD to admit its existence. Why all the secrecy?
|Bob Aul/OC Weekly|
The few TRED records that have been pried free are a treasure trove of exculpatory evidence hidden from trials that resulted in prosecution victories over hoodwinked defendants. The records also clearly reveal that Southern California law-enforcement officials run a jailhouse-informant program that habitually tramples the constitutional rights of pretrial defendants.
With the aid of the county counsel's office, OCSD officials employed exaggerations, half-truths, circular logic and legally inane gobbledygook to keep judges, juries and defense lawyers clueless about TRED since 1990. They've even been willing to tell fibs under oath in a death-penalty case. More »