Snitches Get Stitches

In: Social Issues

Submitted By nurana8
Words 1942
Pages 8
Snitches get Stitches
Name
Green River College

Eng127: Writing in the Social Sciences
Ariadne Rooney
October 29, 2015 Snitches get Stitches Direct evidence is type of evidence that gives the jury a direct connection between the suspect and the crime scene, such as an eye witness. Eye witnesses do help convict guilty suspects but there are many instances where testimonies are altered to have a bias in order to receive an incentive or for some reason the testimony is recanted. This kind of incentivized lie is often referred to as a jailhouse informant, or a snitch. The jailhouse informant is used mostly in drug and murder cases and has been one of the largest contributions to a wrongful conviction and most judicial systems do not place proper policy to prevent this manipulation. This essay will highlight the history of the use and abuse of jailhouse informants, laws that prevent the misuse of snitches, and the many sides around the controversial issue.
Historical Background As long as eye-witness testimonies have been regarded as a reliable source, they have been potentially unreliable. Rob Warden for The Northwestern University School of Law Center of Wrongful Convictions (2004) states that the history of the snitch dates back to our most rudimentary sense of law, predating the Pilgrims arriving to the New World. Although, the first documented case in the United States isn’t until 1819. This case involved two brothers, Jesse and Stephen Boorn, who were suspects of their brother-in-law’s murder. One of their cellmates, Silas Merrill, testified Jesse confessed to the murder and Merrill was rewarded with freedom. Both brothers were sentenced to death but saved when their brother-in-law turned up alive (Warden, 2004, p. 2). The jailhouse informant is important to law enforcement because they make the sacrifice of giving incentives to small scale…...

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