Why would a defendant's defense investigator meet with family member to try to make deals on behalf of the prosecutor? Is this not something only the prosecutor should be doing?
It sounds like there was an offer on the case which the investigator has discussed with family members, likely in hopes that the family members would help get the client to see the value of the deal. Or the investigator is exploring the family's willingness to assist should an offer be made down the road. The better approach would be for the lawyer to contact the client directly and discuss the offer. If the client is unwilling to take the offer and the lawyer really believes it is in the client's interest to accept the offer, the lawyer could get the client's permission first to speak with family members. A lawyer might do this to get more insight into his client or he might do this to use the family to encourage a plea of guilty. The danger with using family members in this way (even assuming it is a good offer) is that most defendants are in custody where there conversations can easily be monitored and recorded. Discussions regarding the pros and cons of accepting an offer are likely to involve very sensitive and confidential facts relating to the strength of the state's case and the weaknesses of the anticipated defense. When a lawyer and the client speak the conversation is confidential. When the defendant and the family speak the conversation is fair game for the prosecutor.
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