Informants, Police, and Unconscionability

Should untrained citizens conduct the dangerous and otherwise illegal activity of police-informants?

Like most law enforcement officers, I was required to handle informants (or “confidential human sources”) when I was an FBI Special Agent. At the time, I had no idea that I would eventually leave government service for academia. However, seven years after going through New Agent Training at Quantico, I left the FBI to pursue my doctoral work in philosophy at the University of Virginia. This change came about for a variety of reasons, and most had nothing to do with the FBI. But I did leave the FBI with vague concerns about the scope of law enforcement power.

Upon arriving at the University of Virginia, then, there was little doubt that my work would in some way be an attempt to make sense of my concerns as an FBI agent. One concern was about the police’s use of informants.  Consider the case, Alexander v. DeAngelo, in which an informant was tasked by the police to engage in a sex act as a way to gather evidence about a suspect’s use of prostitutes.  In denyi

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Bry Willis 18 February 2019

In the world of governments, odds always favour the house. Even so, the power structure keeps more trump cards to further imbalance outcomes in its favour without regard to the notion of justice, a poor synonym for vengeance in the first place. This is simply another manifestation residing firmly in a consequentialistic worldview where the ends justify the means. It is also a textbook example of the failure of Consequentialism and its Utilitarian progeny.