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1 Book Cover Here Copyright © 2014, Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved Chapter 7 INFORMANTS Cultivation and Motivation (Acquiring information from People) Criminal Investigation: A Method for Reconstructing the Past, 7 th Edition
2 Copyright © 2014, Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved Background “Repugnance” attached to the activity – Based on who the info is given to, when, and how close the relationship is between the informant and the one informed on No religious faith holds the practice of informing to be morally wrong – Neither does the judiciary Hoffa v. United States
3 Copyright © 2014, Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved Usefulness of Informants Prevent a crime that is planned but not yet committed Uncover a crime that has been committed but has not been discovered or reported Identify the perpetrator of a crime Locate the perpetrator of a crime or help to locate stolen property Exonerate a suspect Lower morale among criminals through apprehension (unanticipated by those involved in unlawful activity)
4 Copyright © 2014, Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved Types of Informants Volunteer vs. payment for information Municipal police departments and federal agencies hold different views – Police: informant works with a particular detective – Federal: informant belongs to the agency and is passed along Depends on relationship to the person or activity being reported (e.g., work, live, hang out) Motivation for providing information – Individuals may be looking for attention
5 Copyright © 2014, Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved Motives for Informing Self-Serving Reasons – Cutting a Deal – Elimination of Competition – Building a “Line of Credit” “Mercenary” Reasons M-o-n-e-y Self-Aggrandizement Self-Importance Emotions – Fear – Revenge and Jealousy – Repentance – Gratitude Whistleblowers Media Informants Civic Duty
6 Copyright © 2014, Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved Cutting a Deal A defendant agrees to impart what he or she knows about criminal activities in exchange for a promise that a special recommendation for consideration will be made to a judge in a pending prosecution – May reduce or avoid the punishment that would otherwise be expected on conviction – Plea bargaining, quid pro quo (“This for That”)
7 Copyright © 2014, Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved Eliminating Competition Betray a rival Narcotics Burglary in new area
8 Copyright © 2014, Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved Building a “Line of Credit” Earn favors that could stay an arrest should they be apprehended for some law violation (future or past)
9 Copyright © 2014, Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved Informants Opportunity Cultivation of Informants Dealing with Informants – The Investigator-Informant Relationship – Handling Informants – Interviewing Informants – Potential Problems and Precautions Rachel’s Law – Similar Problems in Other Fields? ? ? (CIA)
10 Copyright © 2014, Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved Opportunity Acquire useful information – Through observation Reveal it without exposure to retaliation – Reassurance that their identities will not be revealed Two mechanisms: – Widely publicized special hotline number – Anonymous tip Crime stoppers / “Secret Witness”
11 Copyright © 2014, Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved Cultivation of Informants Intimate knowledge of neighborhood and character of inhabitants – Timing can be critical – Need to capitalize Cops need to remain assigned to same geographical area for a period of time.
12 Copyright © 2014, Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved Handling Informants Meet the informant on neutral ground for the individual’s protection and to preserve anonymity; be careful to keep appointments Treat the informant fairly; make promises with every intention of carrying them out; make none that cannot be fulfilled legally Treat the informant courteously Value of appealing to the reason that motivates the informant should not be forgotten Newly recruited informants must be clued in with respect to the information sought and the target(s) to be aimed at and reported on. While admonishing them to exercise great care in doing so, investigators should encourage them to organize and develop sub sources.
13 Copyright © 2014, Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved Handling Informants (cont.) Informants must be taught what constitutes entrapment; in dealing with any person (including a suspect). The importance of maintaining their “cover” must be stressed; otherwise, they may compromise their own security or that of the investigation. Never permit informants to take charge of the investigation An informant may not, in general, be permitted to commit a crime in return for information. In all financial transactions the investigator must be scrupulously exact. Document. Document. Document.
14 Copyright © 2014, Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved Guidelines for the Use of Informants Special Care – Careful evaluation – Close supervision Suitability for Role Benefits over Risks (e.g., “otherwise illegal activity”) Written Policies
15 Copyright © 2014, Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved Legality of Evidence Based on Informant- Supplied Information Probable Cause Preservation of Confidentiality Entrapment (See further)
16 Copyright © 2014, Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved Legality of Evidence Fourth Amendment – Protection against unreasonable search and seizures – Based on a tip, does probable cause exist to support an arrest or a seizure of evidence? (No) Sixth Amendment – Right of defendant to prepare a defense – Must the identity of the informant be revealed, if sought for this purpose in a motion for a bill of particulars? (Motion to disclose C.I.) Disclose – Dismiss.
17 Copyright © 2014, Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved Probable Cause Difficult when the basis for establishing it depends on an unnamed informant’s (hearsay) information Draper v. U.S. – Used an informant’s hearsay information to make a warrantless arrest Aguilar v. Texas Spinelli v. U.S. – Two-prong test Illinois v. Gates – Evaluating hearsay evidence
18 Copyright © 2014, Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved Preservation of Confidentiality Courts have consistently sided with the rights of individual informants to keep their identity confidential Reasons for a defense attorney to move toward disclosure – Determine that the informant actually exists. (Cops Lie?) – Determine the reliability of the informant. (C.I.s Lie?) – To establish any differences between the police version of events and the informant’s statements (If the informant participated in the crime, is there a possibility of entrapment?) – To endeavor to have the charge dismissed by the court if the state refuses disclosure. (That is a lawyer’s job.)
19 Copyright © 2014, Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved Entrapment May occur when a police officer (or an informant with official concurrence) beguiles an innocent person into committing a crime – Can be used as an affirmative defense for the accused; having committed an act that would otherwise be a crime, he or she, by statute, not held accountable in this particular case. Conditions to be met: – A law enforcement official (or person cooperating with such an official) “Police Agent”. – For the purpose of instituting a criminal prosecution.
20 Copyright © 2014, Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved Entrapment (cont.) – Induces an individual: – To engage in conduct that constitutes a criminal offense. – By knowingly representing that such conduct is not prohibited by law; or prompting the individual who otherwise is not so inclined to act. Sorrels v. United States – First case to recognize entrapment as a viable defense. Objective and Subjective Tests “Predisposed”
21 Copyright © 2014, Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved Retrospective “Detectives are only as good as their informants” Opportunity to learn of a criminal’s activities is never greater than when a close personal relationship between a criminal and an informant has fallen apart Investigator is always cultivating potential informants and motivating them. Important breakthroughs - – Simplifying the task, improving the end product.
22 Copyright © 2014, Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved Conclusion Modern standards for permissible tactics are higher than in the past Informant information – can shorten and strengthen an inquiry
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