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New Protections for Confidential Informants under Rachel's Law

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By Tom Flanigan

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wfsu/local-wfsu-846971.mp3

Tallahassee, Fl – Confidential informants now have a number of protections under a new Florida law now in effect. As Tom Flanigan reports, "Rachel's Law" emerged from the case of a Tallahassee informant who died during a drug sting set up by police.
Rachel Hoffman, a twenty-three year old Florida State University graduate, was facing drug charges of her own when Tallahassee Police enlisted her as an informant. She was shot to death while on a mission to buy drugs and a gun. Her father, Irv Hoffman, was at the Capitol when Florida lawmakers passed the bill named after his daughter. The law prohibits police from promising to drop or reduce charges if suspects agree to become informants. It also forces law agencies to take an informant's age, maturity and other factors into account before putting them in possibly risky situations. Still, the law doesn't have all the protections the family had hoped for. That's a situation Rachel's mother, Margie Weiss, plans to correct. The two suspects accused of gunning Hoffman down last year are still in jail awaiting trial.