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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 121433 Find in a Library
Title: No Honor Among Thieves
Journal: ABA Journal  Dated:(June 1989)  Pages:52-56
Author(s): M Curriden
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 5
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article details abuses and miscarriages of justice resulting from convictions based on the testimony of jailhouse informants.
Abstract: Jailhouse informants offer testimony against their fellow prisoners in exchange for reduced sentences. Often these informants are cynical and unreliable, manipulating the criminal justice system for their own ends. Some argue, however, that the criminal justice system would collapse without the use of informants. Because the only witnesses to many crimes are criminals, the system tolerates informants because they are necessary. Others argue that the American Bar Association or the American Law Institute should promulgate rules preventing prosecuting attorneys from giving inducements to jailhouse informants, for the testimony of bought witnesses is worthless.
Main Term(s): Jailhouse informants
Index Term(s): Discretionary decisions; Plea negotiations; Prosecutorial discretion; Sentencing disparity
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