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Sunday, February 7, 2016

Washington Post zeroes in on jailhouse snitches in capital cases

The Washington Post just ran this story entitled "Va. murder trial may become part of national debate on jail informants."  The story exposes the use of four questionable jailhouse informants in a Virginia death penalty case, and connects those issues to the Orange County scandal, another high profile informant debacle in Washington D.C., and reform efforts around the county. From the story:

"When a Virginia man faces a possible death sentence in a murder trial later this year, his fate may rest on the testimony of four jailhouse informants, two of whom were initially found mentally incompetent to stand trial in their own cases. 

The case of Joaquin S. Rams could soon become part of a growing national backlash over the government’s use of testimony from “snitches” — inmates who offer information against other inmates in exchange for lighter sentences or other benefits — to obtain convictions, sparked by a significant number of wrongful convictions attributed to false informant testimony."