Parallel Construction (new glossary entry)

1984-miranda-warningParallel construction is a law enforcement process of building a parallel—or separate—evidentiary basis for a criminal investigation in order to conceal how the investigation actually began.

In August 2013, a report by Reuters revealed that the Special Operations Division (SOD) of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration advises DEA agents to practice parallel construction when creating criminal cases against Americans that are actually based on NSA warrantless surveillance. The use of illegally obtained evidence is generally inadmissible under the fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine and negates the concept of probable cause and the protections expressly guaranteed under the Fourth Amendment.

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