In a new Supreme Court brief, the Innocence Network is arguing that top-level prosecutors must be held accountable when they set policies that ignore or violate people’s rights and lead to wrongful convictions. False testimony from a jailhouse informant was central in the 1980 murder conviction of Thomas Goldstein, who is suing the former Los Angeles County District Attorney because the office had no safeguards in place at the time of Goldstein’s conviction to prevent snitches from testifying falsely.
Also today, the Texas criminal justice blog Grits for Breakfast focuses today on the difficulty to prove innocence in non-DNA cases, especially those involving snitches and informants.
A situation involving a mendacious jailhouse snitch out of Orange, Texas shows how such cases play out when DNA evidence doesn't exist to prove innocence to a certainty. KPRC-Channel 2 in Houston recently told the story of Daniel Meehan (Sept. 4) whose 1998 conviction and 99-year sentence was based in part on testimony by an informant who now says he lied to get his own cases dismissed and that prosecutors told him what to say.
Read the full Grits post here
A bill passed this year by the California legislature and currently awaiting Gov. Schwarzenegger’s signature would require corroboration of jailhouse snitch testimony.
Send Schwarzenegger an email today
urging him to sign the bill and prevent wrongful convictions in his state.
The Snitch System
” – a report by the Center on Wrongful Convictions in Chicago.