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A North Dakota college student was killed after police coerced him to work as a drug deal informant by threatening him with a lengthy prison sentence for low-level marijuana sale. A young woman in Florida was also murdered in a botched drug deal after being pushed into informant work by police.

KCBS interviewed CJCJ’s Mike Males about the misconduct in the legal process that allowed this to happen. 

It’s absolutely ridiculous that someone who committed that small of a crime can be coerced in that fashion when it’s really at misdemeanor level [crime] at best.” — Mike Males

Mike Males also discussed legislation currently moving through the California State Assembly, Senate Bill (SB) 1052, that would require youth under age 18 to receive legal prior to police interrogation.

Anyone being subjected to this kind of bargain with law enforcement, which by the way does not have the authority to decide what prison terms are going to be received or penalties,” says Males, they should have counsel before they make any kind of agreement like that to understand the risk. 

Police and deputies have no business threatening people with long prison terms in order to gain informant information. But a lot of suspects don’t know that. They’re in an unfamiliar situation and they don’t know their rights and [police] are very intimidating, and often the situation is misrepresented to them. — Mike Males