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Rachels Law

December 10th, 2009 by flanews

The prosecution rested this afternoon in the case of a man charged with killing a Tallahassee police informant. Rachel Hoffman was shot to death in May of 2008 while working undercover for Tallahassee police. As Whitney Ray tells us, Hoffmans death sparked legislation changing the way police recruit and train confidential informants.

Rachel Hoffman made a deal to stay out of trouble, but the deal brought her more trouble than she bargained for.

Facing drug charges Hoffman opted to go undercover to buy cocaine, ecstasy and a gun. It was a fatal decision.

As the details of Hoffmans death unfold in court, more light is being shed on the secret dealing between police and confidential informants. Governor Charlie Crist signed legislation to provide more safeguards for informants. Representative Peter Nehr was the sponsor.

The most important thing about Rachels law is that it allows everyone to fully understand the consequences of what they will have to do if they become confidential informants, said Nehr.

The law took affect in July, and requires recruiters to inform potential informants of all their legal options.

The sponsors of Rachels Law say more needs to be done, because the legislation was weakened as it went through the committee process.

The Hoffman family attorney, Lance Block, fought to keep Rachels law intact, but the legislation lost language that would prevent people in drug programs from going undercover.

Its just a fundamental no-no for someone to be in treatment for substance abuse and them be exposed to that environment, said Block.

Block says in future sessions the family will lobby lawmakers for more changes to the law that bares their daughters name.

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