There are a lot of reasons a prison inmate will talk to his fellow prisoners, and there are even more reasons those prisoners will give up information, true or not, to authorities. For years the U.S. justice system has used this inside information, or snitching, to prosecute and convict a wide variety of criminals—but is that information reliable? How can differing motives stain the integrity of prison accounts, and is it fair to rely on these in court
Alexandra Natapoff, author "Snitching: Criminal Informants and the Erosion of American Justice; she is a law professor at Loyola Law School here in Los Angeles
Ted Rohrlich, former Los Angeles Times investigative reporter, he is probably most noted for an award-winning series that exposed the cozy relationship between law enforcement and the jailhouse informants who lied that they overheard "confessions" to win easier treatment. He also was co-lead reporter on a Pulitzer finalist investigation into inequities in murder investigations and prosecutions in Los Angeles County. He is currently Research Coordinator in the Center for Public Accountability at SEIU721.
Bruce Lisker, recently released from prison on bail, after a federal judge overturned his conviction for murdering his mother; testimony from a jailhouse snitch figured strongly in the prosecution's case