Scholarly Articles and Other Contributions
 

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2002

Abstract

The prosecutor calls an informant as a witness. Her carefully prepared questions elicit in damning detail how-according to the informant-the defendant eagerly participated in the crimes charged in the indictment. On cross, defense counsel goes into full attack mode, covering the informant's prior convictions, his other unsavory and untruthful acts, and the informant's sordid reasons for cooperating with the police-money, a break on his own case, or both. To rehabilitate the informant, the prosecutor wants to elicit testimony from police officers about the many cases the informant has helped them make and how truthful he has always been in the process. To what extent should she be allowed to do so? And once she does, what can defense counsel do in response? This situation arises frequently in criminal trials, although surprisingly,

not all that often in reported opinions. This Article discusses the law and tactics of the situation.

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