Mark Fuhrman on Why Snitch Testimony is Inherently Unreliable

Several months ago the blogosphere was alive with posts about Cam’ron, Anderson Cooper, 60 Minutes and the ‘Stop Snitching’ movement. [See Grits for a good post on the subject, and a list of other bloggers who chimed in as well.]

Today, I came across something I meant to blog on the subject, but never got around to. I had been channel surfing, and stopped on Mark Fuhrman commenting on FoxNews about the story. I’ll leave it to others to speculate why Fox pays Fuhrman for commentary; for now, let’s just assume it’s because he’s the universally acknowledged poster child for Truth, Justice and the American Way.

Anyrate, I was shocked to hear what former police officer Fuhrman had to say on the subject, so I rewound (thanks to an ever-recording DVR) and jotted down his words.

Mind you, this quote is not in the context of a police officer, or prosecutor, or other State official who feels the need to justify a particular conviction that was based on snitch testimony. He’s just honestly talking about the phenomenon of snitching:

Just remember this: people that offer info to the police, they’re not waiving us down on the street saying, “Come on, I want to help you.”

What’s happening here people are working off their own problems, their own beefs, their own case which might be a property crime, it might be some kind of probation violation, and they want that to go away. They’ll give you info on a murder, a robbery or a rape.

They’re dealing stuff out so I think everybody’s got a little confused here. As soon as they’re on the hot seat they’re willing to do the deal, in jail or out of jail.

I actually no longer remember the exact context in which this remarkably accurate description of snitch testimony was delivered. The point is that Fuhrman was simply talking about the realities of snitch testimony and didn’t feel the need in this situation to brag about how reliable his particular informant on a particular criminal case was.

But in a different context, it sure sounds like what a criminal defense lawyer might say during closing argument, doesn’t it?

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Loran - June 24, 2008 12:31 PM

Tony Scalia (on high in the Supremes) snuffed out that snitch Jim Stone, taught him a lesson, to keep his mouth shout, when the Nukey contractor is mishandling nuclear material.
Too bad, if 1,000's of workers at Rocky Flats(Nuclear Plant) got cancer and died.
So---do you put any who speak out on wrong-doing in the snitch category, and create some climate to demonize them ?
Usually, those who speak out on waste, fraud abuse, are taking big risks.
Now, you appear to come down on the side of " just keep one's mouth shut", don't create waves, don't be a snitch, a rat.
Scalia showed that Jim Stone, he can take down a rat, he wears black robes, and can hammer a rat into the ground.
SAD
It was in a civil case, too, but same thing, this climate: KILL , take out the rat at any cost, it is now build into the legal system as a big priority, scantioned from on high, and part of the LAWYER racket games, all part of the corporate bar.
Kill the rat, take him out, before he costs the MEGA Corp lots of money, mula is the KEY--- don't let the rat get in the nickers of the Spread sheets.
Of course no guns are needed, the legal racket has it all built into to TAKE OUT the rats, take out the snitch..
SAD, indeed.
But it is the American way: Right

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