The primary function of the informer is to disclose information to law enforcement authorities which will result in a criminal investigation against a member of society. The informer’s role is a powerful one. Based on his knowledge, a person may be arrested, and possibly suffer loss of freedom, employment, or damage to reputation. Yet the use of informers is widespread, and is often undertaken without safeguards sufficient to avoid abuse by the police. Abuse of informant’s information often arises in the context of pretrial warrant challenges and the entrapment defense.
This article will explore some of the problems implicit in the use of informers. In order to do so, it will attempt to identify who are informers and examine how they are viewed by the police and the courts. Throughout the article, various proposed safeguards designed for the informer’s protection will be examined. Also, the article will seek to develop a system which may ensure, to a greater degree, that the defendant accused of an unlawful act based on an informer’s word be afforded a just and proper trial.
"The Paradoxical Role of Informers within the Criminal Justice System: A Unique Perspective,"
University of Dayton Law Review: Vol. 7:
1, Article 4.
Available at: https://ecommons.udayton.edu/udlr/vol7/iss1/4