SANTA ANA (AP) — The Orange County District Attorney’s Office has formed a committee to review its use of jailhouse informants after misconduct allegations that have sidetracked some criminal cases.

The office announced Monday that a committee of independent experts, including a former judge, has begun looking into its practices and plans to release its recommendations by year’s end.

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Allegations were made last year that authorities illegally used jailhouse informants to question defendants who had obtained legal counsel. It also was claimed that authorities withheld evidence from the defense and lied on the witness stand.

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In March, a judge kicked the DA’s Office off the death penalty trial for Scott Dekraai, who pleaded guilty to killing eight people in a 2011 shooting at a Seal Beach hair salon. That ruling is being appealed.

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