New Research Elevates Concerns over Snitch Testimony

Testimony from jailhouse informants has been a known factor in wrongful convictions, and new data indicates the use of this risky evidence has been more frequent in the worst crimes, according to the May 2015  report of The National Registry of Exonerations. While snitch testimony has been a factor in 8% of exonerations across all crimes, it has been a contributor to wrongful conviction in 15% of murder exonerations and in 23% of death penalty exonerations.

Snitch testimony is compelling to a jury but often unreliable because it can be compromised by incentives for the informant to lie. A factor in 119 of 1,567 known exonerations (tallied from 1989 up to March 17, 2015), the new data reveals the risk not only of convicting the innocent but also of enabling the guilty to escape justice and continue perpetrating the most heinous of crimes. An accompanying consideration: Jailed snitches have been compensated for their testimony with reduced sentences, another risky practice.

Access The National Registry of Exonerations May newsletter (here).

3 responses to “New Research Elevates Concerns over Snitch Testimony

  1. This is a loathsome practice by prosecutors. You can’t tell me they don’t know the incentivized testimony they use is bogus. It’s unethical on the face of it.

  2. Is it just me or does anyone else find it odd…strange and just flat-out disturbing that so many organizations, groups and foundations have been talking about and advocating for the wrongfully convicted, the wrongfully incarcerated for so many years and not a damn thing has changed?

    If I (my case) am unable to get any of these groups, organizations, foundations to even respond to my case, let alone offer assistance, how is anyone going to?

    Just how serious are these groups that they fail to see the opportunity(s) my case brings them? It exemplifies everything they ‘say’ is wrong with the system and what they want to change…plus issues never heard before. A sitting Circuit Court Judge lying to suppress a jury’s not guilty verdict? A shooting scenario, by a state prosecutor, that does NOT match the trajectory of the wound…seriously…when have you ever heard of this before?

    My case exposes how the courts care nothing about due process, rule of law or any of our legal and constitutional rights and how ineffective court appointed counsel is.

    And now, I have in writing, filed in open court the state of Indiana admitting:

    1. Invalid lesser included being determined for a self-defense case
    2. Lack of evidence to file
    3. Constitutionally mandated probable cause proceedings eliminated
    4. Altered states evidence
    5. Judge Webster lied to conspire to suppress a not guilty verdict
    6. Double jeopardy

    “a. The State is without sufficient information to admit or deny paragraphs 1,3,4,7;8;9;10;11;12;13;14 (in part); 15;16;18

    b. The State admits paragraphs 2,5,6”

    Admitting I was convicted of an invalid lesser included charge which they improperly introduced that was forbidden by state law.

    That they had NO probable cause to initiate the case.

    They failed to hold the constitutionally mandated probable cause hearing

    That they altered evidence

    That a sitting Circuit Court Judge LIED to suppress a jury’s not guilty verdict

    Therefore, illegally tried me a second time in violation of the double jeopardy clause.

    This was a MURDER case in a state with a self-defense law that forbade “…any legal jeopardy of any kind whatsoever…”

    Yet they are capable of ADMITTING to the above(and more) in open court and I am unable to obtain any response, let alone any assistance from any of these groups, organizations or foundations that say they are advocates for the wrongfully convicted…the wrongfully incarcerated. If I am unable to obtain help…who can?

    This case exposes everything that is wrong with our judicial system.

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