CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Tuesday, November 9, 2004

The Old "Phony Release Order" Bit

The Smoking Gun reports on an Indiana inmate who created phony bail orders in a bid for early release; ironically, the underlying criminal charge was forgery.  An Arkansas inmate succeeded with the same trick, as did a computer-savvy Rhode Island prisoner.  It works in India too.  And a judge and other officials in New Jersey pulled a similar stunt to help an inmate attend his father's funeral.   But in my former home town of Cincinnati, we don't put up with that stuff; Maryland authorities also saw through a similar ruse.

Is it just me or is the frequency of this litigation strategy surprising?  Thankfully, a California case makes clear that this sort of thing is illegal. See People v. Gaul-Alexander, 38 Cal.Rptr.2d 176 (Cal.App. 5 Dist.,1995).

Jack Chin

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