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Informants: Resources for a Snitch Culture

"Cooperating Witness" Issues

Snitch Blog: A Comprehensive Resource On Criminal Informants, hosted by Layola Law Professor Alexandra Natapoff

The Informants Are Watching Us ... But Who's Watching the Informants? from ACLU Drug Policy Reform Project (US), 11/1/07

SNITCH: How Informants Have Become A Key Part Of Prosecutorial Strategy In The Drug War; from PBS Frontline, 1999. -- (PBS Frontline & WGBH-Boston have granted us permission to copy and distribute DVD copies of SNITCH at no charge. Contact our office for details. You may also view or download SNITCH in Windows Media Player format here).

In The News

Use Of Drug Snitches Stretches The Law's Intent; from Voices of Central PA (PA), 5/4/09

Reasonable Doubt: How Spotty Detective Work And Careless Prosecution May Have Put The Wrong Men Behind Bars; from Pacific NW Inlander (WA), 2/18/10

Retired Drug Informant Says He Was Burned; from NPR (US), 2/13/10 (part 3 of 3)

Critics Blast Informant System Cloaked In Secrecy; from NPR (US), 2/12/10 (part 2 of 3)

The Case Of A Confidential Informant Gone Wrong;from NPR (US), 2/11/10 (part 1 0f 3)

Losing Rachel: Parents, Friends Agonize Over Hoffman's Death; from Tampa Tribune (FL), 11/30/09

Informants: Walking Thin Line In Village Of Attica; from Buffalo News (NY), 11/8/09

Immigration Agents Mishandle Informants; from ABC News (US), 10/26/09

LAPD Freaks Out America With New Orwellian Ad; from True Slant (US), 10/24/09

Column: The Murky World Of Informants; from Baltimore Sun (MD), 10/4/09

Sweat Becomes Offenders' New Snitch; from Washington Post (DC), 9/25/09

Informant Accused In Hit; from El Paso Times (TX), 8/12/09

Feds: Drug Case Informant Seduced, Killed; from MSNBC (US), 8/12/09

U.S. Soldier Charged In Mexico Cartel Informant Killing; from MSNBC (US)

The Alarming Record of the FBI's Informant in the Bronx Bomb Plot; from Village Voice (NY), 7/8/09

SNITCH: The (Involuntary) Confessions of a Confidential Informant; from New Times (CA), 7/9/09

Rachel's Law On Confidential Informants Takes Effect Wednesday; from Tampa Tribune (FL), 6/30/09

DEA Agent Lee Lucas Indicted On Perjury, Civil Rights Charges; Pleads Not Guilty; from Plain Dealer (OH), 5/14/09

Fla. Gov. Signs Bill Named After Slain Informant Rachel Hoffman; from Associated Press (US), 5/10/09

Police Department's Reliance On Informants Has Risks; from Philadelphia Inquirer (PA), 4/28/09

Wanted: Snitches For Hire; from Denver Post (CO), 3/28/09

Cop Added Insult To Injury, She Says; from Philadelphia Daily News (PA), 2/23/09

Attorney Stings 30 Defendants; from Akron Beacon Journal (OH), 1/25/09

Video: Deadly Dealing -- The Rachel Hoffman Story, from NBC Dateline (US), 1/23/09

Buying Gun Was Hoffman's Idea; from Tallahassee Democrat (FL), 11/2/08

The Left Turn Rachel Hoffman Didn't Make; from Tallahassee Democrat (FL), 10/5/08

Informant Might Have Stood Among Gun Safety Activists; from Washington Post (DC), 9/28/08

1 Fired, 4 Suspended In Botched Drug Sting; from Tallahassee Democrat (FL), 9/26/08

Did Police Misconduct Lead To Another Fatal Marijuana Raid? from Reason Magazine (US), 9/25/08

Meggs Says He Won't Prosecute DEA Cases; from Tallahassee Democrat (FL), 8/8/08

The Rat Trap; from In These Times (US), 7/30/08

Video: Rachel Hoffman - Tragic Choice Results In Death; from ABC News 20/20, 7/25/08

Resources

Executive Summary: The DEA's Payments To Confidential Sources; from USDOJ Office of the Inspector General Audit Division, 2005 (pdf)

The Snitching Project; from Law and Society Week (US), Dec 2007

Video: U.S. House Committee Holds Hearing on Informant Abuses; from Judiciary Committee of the US House of Representatives, 7/19/07

Series: Confidential Informants In The Local Drug War; from Charleston Gazette (NC), May 2007

Use of Informants: Reports & Recommendations; from The California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice, Nov 2006

Report: Beyond Unreliable: How Snitches Contribute to Wrongful Convictions; by Alexandra Natapoff, Loyola Law School (CA), June 2006

Additional "Snitch' Resources from Professor Alexandra Natapoff, Loyola Law School (CA)

Audio: Rat A Tat: Alexandra Natapoff, Associate Professor at Loyola Law School, and Peter Moskos, Assistant Professor of Law at John Jay College, discuss snitching and the criminal justice system; from WNYC Radio, New York City (mP3 Format)

The DEA's Payments to Confidential Sources; Audit Report from Office of the Inspector General, USDOJ, July 2005

The Snitch System: How Incentivised Witnesses Put 38 Innocent Americans on Death Row; from Northwestern University School of Law, (IL), 4/25/02

Booklet: The Snitch System; from The Center on Wrongful Convictions, Northwestern University School of Law, 2004-05 (PDF Format)

US Department of Justice (John Ashcroft's) Informant Guidelines, released 2002 (.pdf)

Book: Snitch Culture - How Citizens Are Turned Into the Eyes and Ears of the State, by Jum Redden. Available from Drug Policy Alliance Bookstore

Drug Laws and Snitching; A Primer, by Eric Sterling, Esq.; from PBS Frontline

Report: Snitching: The Institutional and Communal Consequences, by Professor Alexandra Natapoff; from University of Cincinnati Law Review (PDF Format)

Transcript -- U.S. v. Singleton: 1998/99 10th Circuit Decision & Reversal - Does a prosecutor offering sentencing relief in exchange for testimony ("incentified witness") constitute bribery? (pdf)

Win At All Costs: Government Misconduct In The Name Of Expedient Justice; from Bill Moushey, Pittsburgh Post Gazette (1998)

Grits For Breakfast: A Lively Blog of Snitching and Other Drug War Issues

From The Razor Wire

National Media Interest 'Intense' Over Hoffman Case; from Tallahassee Democrat (FL), 7/20/08

Maryland State Police Infiltrated Groups Opposed to War and the Death Penalty; from The Progressive (US), 7/17/08

Friends Provide A Glimpse Into [Rachel] Hoffman's Final Night; from Tallahassee Democrat (FL), 7/13/08

To Snitch Or Not To Snitch? That is the Unanswered Question; from EURweb.com (US), 7/7/08

Police: Student Lured To Arrest By Principal; from Concord Monitor (NH), 4/17/08

OpEd: Rachel's Law Offers Plenty To Consider; from Tallahassee Democrat (FL), 5/31/08

Rachel Hoffman: A Drug Policy Parable; from New Republic (US), 5/23/08

Moles Wanted; from City Pages (MN), 5/21/08

Untrained Informers Needed, Police Say; from St. Petersburg Times (FL), 5/18/08

Hoffman Case Is Latest In National Debate Over Confidential Informants; from Tallahassee Democrat (FL), 5/17/08

Slain Woman's Friends, Supporters Protest Police Departments; from Tallahassee Democrat (FL), 5/15/08

Death Raises Questions On Use Of Informants; from The Ledger (FL), 5/13/08

Informer's Death In Tallahassee Brings Speculation To Clearwater; from St. Petersburg Times (FL), 5/12/08

Hoffman's Death Sparks Debate About Informants; from Tallahassee Democrat (FL), 5/11/08

Guilty Before Proven Innocent; from Reason Magazine (US), May 2008

Anti-Snitch Web Site Spurs Questions About Access To Federal Plea Agreements; from Quad-City Times (IA), 4/26/08

Judge Guts Latin Kings Case, Scolds Police, FBI; from Tampa Tribune (FL), 4/8/08

Narcotics Prosecutor Allowed Lies At Trial, State Says; from Detroit Free Press (MI), 4/2/08

Column: Time To Spy On Your Neighbors; from Times-Mail (IN), 3/23/08

Drug Informant's Allegations Trigger Legal Nightmare At Marin Hall Of Justice; from Marin Independent Journal (CA), 3/1/08

Complaints About [DEA] Agent Date To Start Of His Career; from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA), 2/27/08

A Frame-Up Falls Apart; from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA), 2/24/08

To Snitch or Not To Snitch: The View From The Other Side; from SF Bay Independent Media Center (CA), 2/13/08

Big Drug Case Derailed By Rogue Snitch; from Associated Press (US), 2/10/08

Struggles Await 15 Men Freed In Tainted Mansfield Drug Case; from Plain Dealer (OH), 2/3/08

Officers' Arrests Put Spotlight On Police Use Of Informants; from New York Times (NY), 1/27/08

Drugs-For-Information Scandal Shakes Up New York Police Narcotics Force; from New York Times (NY), 1/23/08

NYPD Narcotics Probe Has Compromised More Than 150 Brooklyn Criminal Cases; from New York Daily News (NY), 1/23/08

Feds To Release 15 More People In Botched Mansfield Drug Case; from Plain Dealer (OH), 1/23/08

Mansfield Woman Free After Drug Conviction Based On Lies; from Plain Dealer (OH), 1/22/08

'Start Snitching,' Crime-Hit Communities Urge; from MSNBC (US), 1/22/08

Wanted: On-Campus Drug Dealers; from Decatur Daily (AL), 1/5/08

Scared Silent; from New York Times (NY), 12/30/07

DEA Informant Jerrell Bray Framed Innocents, Prosecutor Says; from The Plain Dealer (OH), 12/21/07

The Trouble With Informants; from TPM Café Book Club (US), 12/10/07

Informant: "I Am A Hero"; from Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA), 11/17/07

Snitching in the Spotlight: House Committee Holds Hearing on Informant Abuses; from Drug War Chronicle (US), 8/3/07

[Informant] Garnto Case Had Profound Impact; from News-Press (FL), 10/1/07

Onetime Paid Snitch Guilty Of Posing As FBI Agent; from Chicago Sun-Times (IL), 9/17/07

What Is A "Snitch"? It Depends On Whom You Ask; from Civil Liberties In Pinellas (FL), Oct 07

Column: Turns Out People Do Snitch On Crooks; from Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI), 9/8/07

Stand By Witnesses Who Stand Up; from Boston Herald (MA), 8/24/07

Drug Case Hinges On Dubious Informer; from Spokesman-Review (WA), 8/19/07

The Real Meaning of 'Snitching'; from Washington Post (DC), 8/19/07

Still The Same: The FBI In Peace And War; from CounterPunch (US), 8/18/07

Kathryn Johnston Paid Price For Police Reliance On Snitches; from San Francisco Chronicle (CA), 8/16/07

Stop Abusing Snitchin'; from Reason Magazine (US), 8/15/07

Information Regarding Congress, Recent Hearing On Informants; from ACLU Drug Reform Project (US), 8/2/07

US Probe Puts Cleveland DEA Agent's Work Under Scrutiny; from The Plain Dealer (OH), 7/29/07

'Stop Snitching' Group Hoping To Clarify Message; from NBC Action News, Kansas City (MO), 7/30/07

Freaked Out Feds Indict Pair For Posting Flyers Naming Snitch; from Drug War Chronicle (US), 7/27/07

Funding Rules Encourage Cops To Arrest Small-Time Criminals; from EYE (US), 7/19/07

Civil Rights Advocates, Members of Congress to Speak Out Against the Dangers of the Informant System; from ACLU Washington DC, 7/19/07

Informant Urged Suspect To Sell Him More Drugs; from Tampa Tribune (FL), 7/12/07

Column: `Stop Snitching' Campaign Runs Deeper Than Most Think; from San Jose Mercury News (CA), 7/5/07

Concerned Citizen, Witness, Or Snitch? from Buzzle.com (US Web), 3/15/07

Column: The Problems Behind The Culture Of 'Stop Snitching"; from Houston Chronicle (TX), 6/10/07

Stop Snitching: Medical Pot Activists Haze The Traitors Who Ratted Out Ed Rosenthal; from SF Weekly (CA), 6/6/07

[LTE] Stop Snitchin' Movement; from Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA), 6/3/07

Neo-Nazi Rally Was Organized By FBI Informant; from Orlando Sentinel (FL), 2/16/07

Web Sites Expose Informants, and Justice Dept. Raises Flag; from New York Times (NY), 5/22/07

Propaganda, Pimping Or Sloppy Journalism? from Ft. Wayne African-American Woman (US Blog), 5/8/07

Drugs Snitch Wants To Tell All In DC; from Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA), 5/3/07

Open Letter: You Screwed Up the "Snitch" Story, Anderson Cooper; from Drug War Chronicle (US), 4/27/07

CNN And 60 Minutes On Stop Snitching; from Nora Callahan's Blog (US), 4/27/07

The Story Of A Snitch; from Atlantic Monthly (US), 4/1/07

Robbery Suspect Says The DEA Made Him Do It; from New York Times (NY), 3/19/07

Snitches: Death Under Cover; from Arkansas Times (AR), 2/28/07

13 Cases Collapse After Disclosure Of Informant Offenses; from Washington Post (DC), 2/11/07

A Snitch In Time; from Metro Weekly (CA), 9/4/03

An Afghan's Path From Ally Of U.S. To Drug Suspect; from New York Times (NY), 2/2/04

Student Uses Web To Expose Undercover Agents; from Ka Leo O Hawaii (HI Edu), 12/6/06

The House Of Death; from The Observer (UK), 12/3/06

Judges Fear Dangers Of Online 'Rat' Database; from Stamford Advocate (CT), 11/30/06

Limited Use Of Jail Informants Urged; from Los Angeles Times (CA), 11/22/06

California Reconsiders Snitching; from San Francisco Chronicle (CA), 11/19/06

Cartel Figure Lashes Out; from Dallas Morning News (TX), 10/15/06

Schools To Pay Crime Tipsters; from Commercial Appeal (TN), 9/19/06

Police Agreed To Pay $1 Million To Angels Informer, Trial Told; from Vancouver Sun (CN BC), 9/13/06

Police Informant Testifies In Marijuana Grow Case; from Tampa Tribune (FL), 8/17/06

Thank You For Not Snitching; from San Antonio Current (TX), 8/15/06

Damned If You Do. Damned If You Don't; from PopMatters.com (US Web), 2/24/06

Methods Questioned In Investigation Leading Up To Sears Tower Arrests; from Raw Story.com (US), 6/29/06

Bait And Snitch: The High Cost Of Snitching For Law Enforcement; from Slate.com (US Web), 12/12/05

Snitch Testimony On Trial; from The Advertiser (LA), 3/30/06

Anti-Snitch Campaign Riles Police, Prosecutors; from USA Today (US), 3/29/06

The Informant, The Lies, The Injustice - And A Life Lost; from Philadelphia Daily News (PA), 3/24/06

Drug Money Wins Olympics; from Chicago Defender (IL), 3/13/06

Police Defend Drug Sting At School As A Deterrent; from Press-Enterprise (CA), 3/6/06

Federal Court Records Being Kept Secret; from Associated Press (NC), 3/5/06

Drug Informant Accused In Deaths To Be Extradited; from Dallas Morning News (TX), 3/3/06

Store Clerk Meth Sting Challenged as Misguided, Racist; from The NewStandard (US), 2/24/06

Turning In Parents Takes 'Guts'; from Kentucky Post (KY), 2/7/06

Community Protests Meth Prosecution Of Indian Store Owners

T-Shirts Illustrate Divide; from San Francisco Chronicle (CA), 1/29/06

LA Jail Inmate Murdered Because Of Misunderstanding; from Associated Press, 12/8/05

Feds to Fund Controversial School Surveillance; from The NewStandard (US), 11/27/05

Snagging A Rogue Snitch; from Los Angeles Times (CA), 12/2/05

Free Clarence Aaron; from San Francisco Chronicle (CA), 11/25/05

Snitching On The Snitches; from San Antonio Current (TX), 11/3/05

'Stop Snitchin' Shirts Stopping Criminal Trials; from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA), 10/18/05

T-Shirts Warn Off Those Who 'Snitch'; from Wichita Eagle (KS), 8/14/05

Cultural Differences Complicate A Georgia Drug Sting Operation; from New York Times (NY), 8/4/05

Police Explorers Used In Drug Sting At Barlow High School; from Connecticut Post (CT), 6/29/05

Jailed Informants Spark Legal Debate; from The Miami Herald (FL), 5/31/05

I'm Telling ... And Getting Paid For It; from The Beacon (PA Edu), 4/25/05

Decision To Release Jailhouse Snitch Backfires; from The Tribune Review (PA), 4/17/05

Students Paid For Tattling On Peers; from USA Today (US), 4/17/05

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