What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Maryland
I have a question regarding the use of confidential informants.
Let's say the police used a confidential informant to make a drug bust. The informant was an active participant in the buy. The informant was also a former friend of the defendant.
Well, according to research, the informant needs to be identified if he or she is a material witness to the crime and possesses testimony on the admission of guilt that exonorate the defendant. Before that, the informant is revealed to the trial judge, who performs an in camera hearing, which is a hearing in private with the prosecutor, to determine if such evidence exists. The burden is on the defense to provide evidence that the defendants testimony demonstrates exculpability to the defendant.
How can the defendant possibly provide such evidence when these in camera meetings are held in private? Add to the fact, the informants will be acting on their own selfish desires, as they are working off their own charges, so they may not testify to the judge everything they know or show that they could help the defendant.
Thus the motion to disclose the informants identity will be denied (only in rare cases is it revealed).
Any ideas on how the defendant could show evidence that revealing the informants identity is crucial to his or her defense?