When used properly, informants can be a powerful and appropriate investigative tool. But they can also be destructive, crime-producing and corrupting. The widespread use of informants means that much of the real adjudicative process takes place underground, without rules, records or lawyers, and without public or judicial scrutiny of the fairness and accuracy of the process.Good stuff, as always. Natapoff points to new reform proposals on snitching due out today. "The California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice will release its report and recommendations on the government's use of criminal informants by 5 p.m., Monday, Nov. 20. Go to: www.ccfaj.org/rr-use-expert.html." Good tip! Indeed, there's already quite a bit of interesting looking material at that link I haven't seen.
If any Texas legislators or staff are looking for good bills to file, Texas has a lot of these same problems. For more background, see prior Grits posts on snitching and the November Coalition's resource page on the topic.