In some cases, the prosecution won’t offer any kind of plea bargain without what they call a “mandatory debrief,” which means that they want the defendant to talk to the police before they will offer a deal. So far in my short experience, I have not had any prosecutor actually commit to what kind of deal they would give, or even to commit to what kinds of questions they would ask or areas they are interested in. When faced with such wishy-washy promises from people they absolutely can’t trust, most defendants are justifiably wary.
Some are not. The New York Times Magazine ran a piece on the life of Alex White, a professional snitch/informant in Atlanta who actually helped bring down his handlers after they wanted him to cover up their killing a 92-year-old woman in Atlanta. And it’s not a pretty picture. Continue reading