The United States is a unique country in many ways. When it comes to the U.S. legal system, defendants are given quite a few inherent freedoms that many other countries do not provide. The way the legal system is set up here in our country, law enforcement officials can give individuals clemency for certain crimes in exchange for information. For example, police can choose to let a person walk free if they can offer up information about a crime committed by someone else. Prosecutors have the ability to recommend a lesser sentence or even drop criminal charges altogether if a defendant cooperates. One of the best examples of this is the practice of allowing prison inmates to testify against other inmates in exchange for various benefits.
The Issue With Jailhouse Informants
Recently, the use of jailhouse informants has become a hot topic. This has come in part because of the availability of new DNA testing technology that has helped quite a few people be declared innocent of the crimes they were accused of committing. Many of the people who have been exonerated were convicted because of testimony from jailhouse informants, whose intentions are not always the best. In many cases, informants are offered certain benefits for providing testimony, such as a reduction in their own sentences.
Connecticut Creates New Tracking System for Informants
In response to the questionable credibility of jailhouse informants’ testimony, the state of Connecticut recently passed a bill that will create a statewide system to track the use of jailhouse informants, the first of its kind in the country. The system will contain detailed information about the informant, including when the person has been an informant before and what benefits they have received for their information. The system will be accessible to all prosecutors, who will then be able to determine whether or not they believe an informant will give reliable information.
Have a Hartford, CT Criminal Defense Lawyer By Your Side
The issue with jailhouse informants is that the informants themselves are not always being truthful or providing testimony for the right reasons. This has led to many false convictions, which can and have altered the course of peoples’ lives. If you have been accused of a crime, you need help from a skilled Connecticut criminal defense attorney right away. At the Woolf Law Firm, LLC, we understand that information from informants may not always be the most reliable, and we will work to address this type of evidence and help avoid a conviction whenever possible. Call our office today at 860-290-8690 to schedule a free consultation.