Posts Tagged ‘Jailhouse informers’


(For once, Trump and his minions have a point. One anticipates that Trump et alia‘s sudden epiphany about the reliability of “flippers,” who Trump accurately describes as “rats,” will translate into principled advocacy of judicial reform.)

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JAILHOUSE INFORMANT, n. A highly reliable witness who is normally accused or already convicted of several felonies, and whose testimony is untainted by the anticipation of personal gain. That such witnesses normally go free or received reduced sentences after testifying is simply well deserved recognition of their credibility and civic mindedness. One might add that their credibility is precisely why prosecutors so often employ jailhouse informants in weak cases that would otherwise be dismissed.

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— from The American Heretic’s Dictionary (revised & expanded), the 21st-century successor to Ambrose Bierce’s Devil’s Dictionary. (The link goes to 50 sample definitions and illustrations.)

American Heretic's Dictionary revised and expanded by Chaz Bufe, front cover