CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Leson on Protecting Informants

Ian Leson has posted Toward Efficiency and Equity in Law Enforcement: 'Rachel’s Law' and the Protection of Drug Informants (Boston College Law Review, Forthcoming) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

Following the murder of Rachel Morningstar Hoffman, a 23-year-old college graduate, Florida passed “Rachel’s Law,” which established new guidelines for the police when dealing with confidential informants. Immediately prior to its enactment, Rachel’s law was stripped of key provisions. These provisions required the police to provide the potential informant with an attorney before she agrees to any deal, and put limitations on the ability of the police to employ as informants people in drug rehabilitation programs. Opponents of these provisions argue that they will hamstring law enforcement agencies in their efforts to prosecute drug crimes. This note suggests that the attorney provision be restored to Rachel’s Law, and encourages other states to enact similar statutes. Rather that serving as an obstacle to effective law enforcement, this note argues that the attorney provision in the original version of Rachel’s Law enables more efficient prosecution of crimes, while also protecting those minor drug offenders who may be unsuited to potentially dangerous undercover informant work.

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