Sep 16, 2019

States turn skeptical on jailhouse informants as DNA evidence exonerates dozens

Evidence
Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images

Some states are strengthening rules on the practice of using testimony from jailhouse informants in trials, after new DNA technology exonerated dozens of people wrongly convicted based on those informants' lies, the AP reports.

Why it matters: The credibility of jailhouse informants has always been considered suspect, since they may be motivated to reduce their own sentences by providing incriminating, but inaccurate information. Nearly a fifth of the 365 people exonerated by new DNA evidence nationwide were convicted partly based on lying informants, according to the Innocence Project.

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