NPR has an interesting report on the use and abuse of confidential informants.
Here’s an excerpt:
Loyola Law School professor Alexandra Natapoff, author of the new book Snitching, says the public has no clue about the thousands of informants now on the government payroll.
“It’s a very clandestine, secretive and unregulated arena that yet influences the outcome of millions of cases and investigations,” she says. “It shapes the way we lawyer, it shapes the way we judge, and it shapes what we call fair and good. And yet, we don’t see any evidence of it pop up on the public record.”