Resources

  • SNITCHING: Criminal Informants and the Erosion of American Justice
  • U.S. Attorney General's Guidelines on the FBI's Use of Confidential Human Sources
  • Sarah Stillman, The Throwaways, The New Yorker (2012) (article on the use of juvenile informants)

Recent Blog Posts

Monday, December 10, 2018

Professor Robert Bloom on jailhouse informant expert testimony

Professor Robert Bloom is an expert on informants who has testified in numerous cases.  He has now authored this article,What Jurors Should Know about Informants: The Need for Expert Testimony, Mich. St. L. Rev. (forthcoming 2019).  Here is the abstract:  

  With the advent of DNA exonerations, the data would indicate that many individuals have been wrongly convicted. In looking at the causes of the exonerations, nearly 20% have involved testimony by accomplices and jailhouse informants. The questionable credibility of these individuals has long been recognized by courts and legislatures. Reforms in this area include, enhanced jury instructions, pre-trial credibility hearings, and corroboration before the testimony can be introduced.  

  This article argues the efficacy of expert testimony to further assist jurors in measuring the credibility of these witnesses. Although the use of experts has largely been disfavored by courts, there has been a gradual movement to use experts for eyewitness identifications, the major cause of exonerations. The article proposes a similar movement for informant testimony.

Professor Bloom is also the author of the book Ratting: The Use and Abuse of Informants in the American Justice System (2002).