Legislation

It is an exciting time for criminal informant law. State and federal governments have begun examining and, in some cases, changing the law pertaining to informant use. Over the past few years, there have been numerous studies, commissions, hearings, and legislative proposals aimed at improving the reliability and accountability of informant policies. Below is a partial list of jursidictions and their efforts, with links to statutes, bills, reports, and other legislative materials where available. Additional background is available under the LEGISLATION section on SNITCHING BLOG. For those interested in reforming informant law in your jurisdiction, the Model Bill contains legislative proposals on a wide range of issues. As always, these lists are partial and should not be construed as legal advice.

Model Legislation

Reports

U.S./Federal Legislation & Materials

California

  • Cal. Penal Code 1111.5  (requiring corroboration for jailhouse informant testimony) (approved August 2011)
  • "Chad's Law," Cal. Penal Code 701.5 (prohibiting the use of informants under the age of 12 and restricting the use of minor informants under the age of 17)

Florida

Illinois

  • Ill. Comp. Stat. ch. 725, s. 5/115-21(d) (requiring reliability hearings and heightened discovery for jailhouse informants)

Maryland

  • Maryland Code, Crim. Law 9-302 & Cts. and Judicial Proceedings 10-901 (increased penalties for witness intimidation and new hearsay rules permitting statements from absent witnesses)

New Jersey

New York

  • Senate Bill A03378-2013 (would require corroboration of informant testimony, heightened discovery, and additional safeguards)

Texas

Washington