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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Texas passes strong new informant disclosure law

At the recommendation of the Timothy Cole Commission, Texas has passed strong new legislation requiring the government to collect a range of data on its jailhouse informants, including prior testimony and benefits, and to turn that data over to the defense.  The bill is here.

And here is the New York Times Editorial Board's glowing review of the new law, Texas Cracks Down on the Market for Jailhouse Snitches, calling it "the most comprehensive effort yet to rein in the dangers of transactional snitching." The Times also notes, however, that prosecutors are supposed to turn over such evidence anyway and that further reforms are called for, such as reliability hearings and barring informants in capital cases.