Relying On Jailhouse Snitches A Risky Prosecution Strategy


If the prosecution in the Chandra Levy murder relies on jailhouse snitches, it’s a potent but potentially dangerous resource for prosecutors, says McClatchy Newspapers. At least two unnamed inmate informants are cited in the affidavit filed on Tuesday to obtain a warrant for the arrest of Ingmar Guandique. The informants offer gruesome details at the heart of the case against Guandique for killing the federal intern in 1981. “”Inmate testimony is inherently unreliable,” says Prof. Ellen Yaroshefsky of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York, “and courts are cognizant of the fact that it’s really unreliable.”

Northwestern University Law School’s Center on Wrongful Convictions studied 111 death row inmates exonerated between 1973 and 2004. False testimony, most of it from inmates, occurred in 49 percent of the cases, the study found.

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