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United States v. Horr.

United States v. Horr, U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit, 1992.

In this federal case, an appeals court upheld a ruling against an inmate who claimed his conviction on charges of planning an escape should have been dismissed because the FBI had unlawfully tape-recorded his conversations.

Inmate Ronald Horr and other inmates were planning an escape from the Federal Medical Center in Rochester, Minn. Through an informant and recorded telephone conversations, the FBI learned of Horr's plan, which included obtaining a gun.

Horr was convicted of conspiring to possess a firearm in a prison and of conspiring to escape. He appealed the conviction based on the claim that the FBI should not have been permitted to tape his telephone conversations without a warrant.

The appeals court concurred with the lower court's ruling that law enforcement officials may "intercept a wire, oral or electronic communication, of the parties to the communication has given prior consent to such interception."

White Horr said he did not consent to being tape-recorded, he did admit he had noticed signs near the prison telephones that read: "The Bureau of Prisons has the authority to monitor conversations on this telephone. Your use of the institutional telephone constitutes consent to this monitoring. A properly placed telephone call to an attorney is not monitored."

The court concluded that by choosing to use the telephone, Horr had consented to have his conversation monitored. Accordingly, the court upheld Horr's sentence of almost five years on each of three counts.

Attorney Daniel Pollack, assistant professor at the Wurzweiler School of Social Work at Yeshiva University in New York City, contributes this column to Corrections Today.
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Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Legal Briefs
Author:Pollack, Daniel
Publication:Corrections Today
Date:Feb 1, 1993
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