1. Require any warrant based on information from a confidential informant to include information on the informant.According to the briefing paper, not only can uncorroborated informant testimony lead to false convictions of innocent people, "There is an incentive for law enforcement to ignore illegal activity by informants because addressing the criminal activity would stop or impair a criminal investigation."
2. Corroborate information from a confidential informant used to acquire a warrant.
3. Provide information on any confidential informant to all parties prior to plea bargaining.
4. Require a reliability hearing for informants prior to the introduction of informant testimony.
5. Corroborate information from incarcerated informants.
6. Require each law enforcement agency maintain an informant registry.
7. Establish performance measures that track law enforcement effectiveness.
8. Report crime committed by confidential informants.
9. Establish grants to improve law enforcement training relating to gathering informant testimony.
10. Require a signed statement from confidential informants prior to use of informant-derived evidence at trial.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Corroborating informant testimony, reporting crimes by snitches among ACLU recommendations
On Monday, ACLU's Texas affiliate and the group's Drug Law Reform Project held a press conference to release a briefing paper (pdf) recommending changes to how testimony from confidential informants is gathered and used. While I haven't seen any press coverage, many of their proposals, for long-time readers, will have a familiar ring: