Ratting: The Use and Abuse of Informants in the American Justice System

Ratting: The Use and Abuse of Informants in the American Justice System

Ratting: The Use and Abuse of Informants in the American Justice System

Ratting: The Use and Abuse of Informants in the American Justice System

Synopsis

The use of police informants in the criminal justice system presents a range of potential pitfalls. Bloom illuminates the pernicious legal ramifications that can result from the justice system's relationship to and use of informers providing insights into law enforcement techniques as well as the Court's response to them. Law professors, criminologists, and law enforcement scholars will find Bloom's account of this much used and abused but under-reported aspect of America's law enforcement efforts both edifying and sobering.

Excerpt

At this late date in the annals of law enforcement, it seems to me that we cannot say either that every use of informers and undercover agents is proper or, on the other hand, that no uses are. There are some situations where the law could not adequately be enforced without the employment of some guile or misrepresentation or identity. A law enforcement officer performing his official duties cannot be required always to be in uniform or to wear his badge of authority on the lapel of his civilian clothing. Nor need he be required in all situations to proclaim himself an arm of the law. It blinks the realities of sophisticated, modern-day criminal activity and legitimate law enforcement practices to argue the contrary. However, one of the important duties of this Court is to give careful scrutiny to practices of government agents when they are challenged in cases before us, in order to insure that the protections of the Constitution are respected and to maintain the integrity of federal law enforcement.

United States v. Hoffa, 385 U.S. 293, 315 (1966),

Chief Justice Earl Warren, dissenting

As the words of the late chief justice of the Supreme Court indicate, in our society today in order to investigate a great many wrongful acts informants have become a necessary evil. With many crimes involving willing participants, it is often necessary for the government to utilize individuals with nefarious motives to investigate these crimes. This book

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