Perhaps one of the most sobering parts of being a criminal defender is in interacting with my clients and realizing how many of us could have ended up in their shoes. When I interact with my clients, I hear their stories, and that often gives me a unique glimpse into how:
In "the heart of death penalty country," as my friend Jeanne Bishop so aptly puts in her book, we represent people the State is seeking to execute. Since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976, 82% of all executions have taken place in the Southern "Bible Belt" (37% in Texas alone).
For those of you reading this who may not work in the criminal justice system, snitches are people who provide information to police and prosecutors for a reward, usually cash or some level of leniency from the prosecution, or even just a hope for leniency in the future. Snitches are almost always criminals themselves.