Wrong Convictions Spur Florida to Rethink Using Jail Informants

After the release of a man that was wrongfully convicted of a murder, Florida’s Innocence Commission is rethinking the use of jailhouse informants in their felony cases.  The man, Chad Heins, spent 11 years in prison for a murder he was innocent of — his conviction was almost solely based on the testimony of two so-called “snitches” who lied to jurors, saying Heins had confessed to them while he was being held.

Because of this gross injustice, the Florida Innocence Commission is drafting proposed legislation that could make their state the only one in the nation that would require judges to review the reliability of jailhouse informants — as well as any witness with pending criminal charges — before allowing them to testify at a felony trial.

Read more about the proposed legislation here, and more about the Florida Innocence Commission here.