I hope if you are reading this Blog it is for informational purposes only and you are not in trouble with the State or Federal Law Enforcement Authorities. If you are and you have to spend time in jail you should be aware of the jail house snitch. A confidential informant is someone who provides information to law enforcement about a past, present, or future crime. While the term confidential informant typically means a person whose name is kept private, as a practical matter the names of confidential informants often come out during what is called the discovery phase of a criminal trial. Jail House Snitches are people in jail who claim that another inmate told them or confessed to a crime, usually while they shared a cell. Jail House Snitches readily come forward claiming to have information about a crime and these people have been know to be notorious liars, willing to say anything to get some leniency in their own case.
One only needs to Google jail house snitches to see some of the abuses that have been committed in the criminal justice system by the use of jail house snitches. I am not saying that jail house snitches cannot ever provide reliable information to law enforcement, I am saying that in the past there have been too many wrongful convictions based on their testimony. On that point, there have been too many wrongful convictions in this country-period. Around 235 people have recently been found to be actually innocent and freed from person by the use of DNA evidence. In these cases there was eye witness testimony against the accused that led to the conviction only later to have DNA evidence conclusively prove that the eye witness testimony was wrong. ( Eye witness testimony is some of the most unreliable evidence as soon by recent research. This will be a topic for another Blog).
Jail House Snitches will do almost anything to curry favor with prosecutors. Often they are people who have been in and out of jail and know the system. If you find yourself in jail the only safe thing to do is never, ever, ever, discuss the facts of your case with another inmate. If your lawyer brings you the discovery from your case, do not allow other inmates to review it. Do not leave your legal materials so other inmates can look at the facts in your case. By reviewing your legal documents other inmates can learn enough about your case to claim that you discussed it with them and made a confession. Never talk on the telephone about your case. Jail telephones are not secure!
These are some of the things you will need to know if your are unfortunate enough to be incarcerated. The attorneys at Coxwell & Associates are experienced in these and other criminal law issues. We are available to meet and discuss these and other matters with you.
Disclaimer: This blog is intended as general information purposes only, and is not a substitute for legal advice. Anyone with a legal problem should consult a lawyer immediately.