by Valerie Fritzel
A mother of three is given a 20-year prison sentence?because her boyfriend was involved in drugs.
A young man with no police record is given three life sentences for an arrest in which no drugs, no drug money, and no physical evidence were ever found.
An entire community is destroyed when 70 people are arrested and convicted on the word of one person.
Sound like horrible mistakes? Not at all. These are all common events, the result of the U.S. Government “War on Drugs”. Luckily for us, director Ofra Bikel chose to make these events the subject of “Snitch” a PBS Frontline news special.
“Snitch” focuses on federal prosecutors’ use of informants in cases involving illegal drugs. The use of informants is accepted as a necessary source of evidence for prosecution. However, when informants are used as the only source of evidence?and those informing face extreme sentencing under mandatory minimums?the result is a deadly combination which endangers everyone’s rights. Ms. Bikel uses the testimony of snitches, their victims, and legal professionals to prove that the use of informants by the government undermines the very foundation of our legal system.
In “Snitch” Ms. Bikel dives deeply into the many facets of the government-declared “War on Drugs” and illuminates the impact it has on people’s lives and our legal system. “Snitch” is a documentary we can’t afford to miss.