The legal system of the United States has a concept of admissible and inadmissible evidence. If, for example, a prosecutor uses evidence that was acquired illegally, it is supposed to be thrown out. However, this concept like most concepts developed to protect defendants is little more than a fairytale told by politicians, judges, and law enforcers to create the illusion of legitimacy in the minds’ of the masses. In reality there are a lot of options for those who wish to submit “inadmissible” evidence. Parallel construction is one such option:
The Special Operations Division receives raw intelligence from the NSA’s surveillance programs, including from the mass surveillance programs revealed in documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden. DEA agents in this unit then analyze the surveillance data and disseminate leads to federal and local police nationwide. But the information comes with a catch. Law enforcement can’t use it to secure search warrants or in any way reveal the intelligence community as the source of their leads. Instead, they must find another way to justify their searches and broader investigations.
The convoluted and secretive process of building a case to obscure the use of underlying intelligence, known as “parallel construction,” is meant to protect the intelligence community’s sources and methods, according to internal DEA documents. It also often deprives the accused of a fair shot at defending themselves in court because some of the evidence against them is not made public.
If a domestic law enforcement agency is given evidence by the National Security Agency (NSA), it’s not supposed to be able to use it because the NSA is supposed to be prohibited from spying on American citizens. So when the NSA finds evidence that is of interest to a domestic agency, it gives the agency the evidence and orders them to make up a story about how it was uncovered by the agency’s personnel. The agency then works in reverse. It creates a story about how it discovered the evidence. After charges have been filed the defendant has no knowledge of the NSA’s involvement and therefore can put up a meaningful defense.
You may get your day in court but does it really matter when the court is rigged to favor the prosecution?