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Monday, April 26, 2010

Snitches killing snitches

Here's a story of violent irony. Last Friday, two young New Jersey women were sentenced for participating in the execution of a friend--Latyria Nealy--because the gang to which all three women belonged thought Nealy might be snitching. Having lured Nealy to her death on suspicion of being a snitch, one of the women, Nikki Moore, then became an informant herself, providing "significant, extensive, and comprehensive" cooperation which earned her two years off her 12-year sentence. The other defendant apparently also cooperated in some fashion but did not get any credit. Story here: Pair Sentenced in Gang Execution: Asbury Park Woman Killed for being a 'Snitch'. The irony, of course, lies in the cycle of violence in which people work off their sentences for killing suspected informants by becoming informants themselves. The deeper challenge is helping young people surrounded by crime who are caught in the middle--between violent gangs that threaten those who talk, and a criminal system that punishes those who remain silent.