Developments in the Rachel Hoffman Case


Some new developments in the case of Rachel Hoffman, the Florida college student who was murdered last spring after being lured by Tallahassee police to work as a drug informant:

•  A Florida state senator has filed a claims bill that would allow Hoffman's family to be compensated should they prevail in a lawsuit.

•  Tallahassee police apparently told a grand jury the improbable story that Hoffman was slinging $35,000 per week in dope.  To review, when the police raided Hoffman's apartment earlier this year they found five ounces of marijuana and six ecstasy pills.

•  After a grand jury slammed the Tallahassee Police department in a scathing report last week, the five officers involved in the Hoffman case have been suspended—with pay, of course.

•  Finally,  a weird pissing match has broken out in all of this.  Apparently, there were three DEA agents involved in the Hoffman case, but the federal government refused to let those agents testify before the state grand jury.  In response, Florida State Attorney Willie Meggs has vowed not to prosecute any future cases involving DEA agents.  I guess it can't be a bad thing to have drug warriors fighting amongst themselves.

If all of this attention directed at the Hoffman case effects some policy changes with respect to the use of drug informants, or further erodes public support for the drug war in general, all the better.

But I can't help but note the difference between the massive coverage of and attention paid to the Hoffman case with, say, the relatively nonexistent coverage of the shooting death of Isaac Singletary in January 2007.

I'll play coy and leave it up to you, Hit & Run commenters, to discuss what might be behind the difference.