The police have long relied on informants to make critical cases, and prosecutors have long relied on cooperator testimony at trials. Still, concerns about these tools for obtaining closely held information have substantially increased in recent years. Reliability concerns have loomed largest, but broader social costs have also been identified. After highlighting both the value of informants and cooperators and the pathologies associated with them, this chapter explores the external and internal measures that can or should be deployed to regulate their use.
Daniel C. Richman,
Informants & Cooperators,
Bridging the Gap: A Report on Scholarship and Criminal Justice Reform, Vol. 2 Policing, Erik Luna, Ed., 2017; Columbia Public Law Research Paper No. 14-543
Available at: https://scholarship.law.columbia.edu/faculty_scholarship/2027