Criminal defence lawyer to be vicariously responsible for investigator’s deception?

Legal Blog Watch draws our attention to a CNN report of a Wisconsin lawyer who is said to have gone too far in defending a middle-aged man against allegations of sexual assault and child pornography involvingĀ  a boy. Neither article states the facts adequately, so see this article too. It was alleged that the accused showed the 13 year old pornography on the accused’s computer. The lawyer wanted the boy’s computer, suspecting it would contain useful undiscovered material demonstrating that what was on the accused’s computer was nothing new to the boy. So he sent a private investigator over to the boy’s house with a story that his household had been selected for a free laptop in exchange for his old computer. There was a cover story about a company researching school students’ computer use. It worked. The boy’s family handed over the old computer, including hundreds of pornographic images which the lawyer then sought to tender in his client’s criminal trial, and the boy got a new laptop. The Wisconsin Supreme Court wil now decide whether the lawyer’s deception through the proxy of the investigator was one step too far in the vigorous and fearless defence of his client.

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