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?

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