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Law Studies Assignment 1.05

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Submitted By awilliams90210
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Assignment 1.05

Is it ethical for lawyers to use jail house informants to get a conviction if they’ve offered a deal to the incarcerated informant?
The Innocence Project (http://www.innocenceproject.org/understand/Snitches-Informants.php), presents the case that in 18% of wrongful conviction cases overturned through DNA testing, an informant testified against the defendant at the original trial. An informant is defined as a witness who testifies as to statements made by a fellow inmate while both are in custody. These ‘witnesses’ are able to present information on a person’s guilt during a court case on the idea that they could only have gotten the information from the person that committed the crime, but this isn’t always true. The American Bar Association (http://www.americanbar.org/publications/criminal_justice_magazine_home/crimjust_spring2003_jailhouse.html) has information on Leslie Vernon White, an informant and perjurer that explained to a reporter how he fabricated evidence used to convict other inmates. This revelation led to the convening of a Los Angeles Grand Jury.
The Fairness & Justice approach is probably best for this ethical question in particular. When it comes to fairness, you have to evaluate if the possibility of a case being strengthened is worth using information that might not even be true. It is in no way fair that someone who hasn’t committed a crime can have their rights taken away by someone else’s lies, and that no one is going to be held responsible for it. Also, the people who present this information can often benefit from this deceit by getting their sentences reduced, or even being released based on how much time they have left on their sentence. This is an obvious glitch in the way the criminal justice system works, and it’s necessary that action is taken to correct this.
Having a judicial system that uses possibly...

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