Monday Morning Jumpstart


It’s Monday. Have you set your clocks back one hour?

  • The topic du jour is snitching, so let’s start off with the Windypundit’s exploration of the snitching debate from an economics perspective.
  • Speaking of economics, Grits has this absolutely terrific post on why economic theory doesn’t apply to plea bargaining.
  • Corrections Sentencing follows up on Grits’ post and highlights the fundamental flaws in the criminal justice system that have brought us to where we are.
  • Stephen Gustitis points to an interesting, though not groundbreaking, study that concludes that the cockier you are, the greater your credibility falls.
  • Malum decries the lack of funding for indigent defense.
  • Prof. Birmingham will be back in the spring, albeit one class lighter: Feminist Legal Theory.
  • NACDL’s website has this terrific guide (which is from an old issue, but still very useful) which provides a blueprint for trying Eyewitness ID cases.
  • Apparently, CT is facing a “growing problem” with fake lawyers. [H/T: LBW]
  • CT gets a glimpse of life in Texas.

Enjoy the extra hour!

5 thoughts on “Monday Morning Jumpstart

  1. S.cotus

    One thing I don’t recall seeing in this debate is the question of whether a police agency is cohesive enough to honor its obligations.

    There are some small-time criminals who constantly rat to the police. They do so for good reason: they get favorable treatment and they can practice their “lifestyle” however they want. This seems to be a rather dirty deal: 1) the cops have a snitch that commits some crime but “helps” them; and 2) the criminal practices their crimes but betrays people. This works out “fine” (and by “fine” I mean “brings about the downfall of society”), until a new cop comes on the job.

    A new cop might not understand the “relationship.” These relationships are a lot more complex than can usually be conveyed in a short police report or a 1 or 2 page memo. For example, there may be an understanding that the snitch cannot and will not try and inform on certain kinds of people. (But a new cop wouldn’t be privy to this part of the analysis.) Yes, certain written protections are afford some (but not all) snitches, but they usually don’t kick in until after an arrest is made.

    So, look at the situation we are in: there are defendants out there whose “snitching” is long term and in return for a virtual license to practice a kind of crime. Granted, these crimes are usually “victimless” crimes (i.e. prostitution, small-time drug manufacturer, unlicensed gambling). is this really helping society?

    All in all, it is sad that we are going down this road, and we need to explore the exact means by which people snitch, but I guess we are already on it and we need to seriously think about it.

    And, I am with Norm: Representing clients does not mean waging a war against the government. Lawyers must do the best they can for them. But lawyers also must be aware that the government will screw up and might put their clients at serious risk of harm.

  2. JC

    Even better than the article on the NACDL website is Lisa Steele’s Quinnipiac Law Review article on the topic – tailored specifically for CT. It’s at 25 Quinnipiac L. Rev. 799.

  3. Gideon Post author

    [quote comment=”7887″]Even better than the article on the NACDL website is Lisa Steele’s Quinnipiac Law Review article on the topic – tailored specifically for CT. It’s at 25 Quinnipiac L. Rev. 799.[/quote]

    Thanks, I’ll have to check it out tomorrow!

  4. Pingback: Freeze! Your memory, that is | a public defender

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