8-23-11: The Role of Criminal Informants
This segment originally aired on February 16, 2010.
Both Kareem Kelly Guest and Antonio “Mack” Hall were residents of Westport, a small neighborhood in south Baltimore. Guest, a heroin dealer-turned federal informant, told investigators that Hall was connected to several murders. Hall found out, and in retaliation, shot Guest in 2009. He was found guilty of murder earlier this month.
Loyola Law School professor Alexandra Natapoff got a first hand look at snitching when she was a federal public defender in the early 2000s. She recently wrote a book that says we’re too focused on the benefits of confidential informants and too ignorant of the damage they cause.
Sheilah talks to Alexandra Natapoff about Snitching: Criminal Informants and the Erosion of American Justice and why she wanted to shed light on the shadowy world of police, prosecutors, and criminals who get leniency in exchange for information.
In 2009, NPR aired a three-part investigative series about confidential informants, starting with the story of a Mexican drug runner who went by the name Lalo.