Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Deal or no deal? The struggle with jailhouse snitches

Jailhouse snitches help prosecutors get convictions even when there’s scant other evidence against the defendant, often offering the snitches drastic reductions in their sentences. In the past five years, roughly 49,000 convicts had their sentences lessened for helping prosecutors. But are the ethical implications of using witnesses who have nothing to lose and everything to gain by lying too great?

Murder suspect released because court’s fax ran out of ink

The prime suspect in a murder case was released from prison to await trial because the court failed to respond to his faxed request for release in a timely fashion — they ran out of fax toner.

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