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New California Law Requires Corroboration Of Cellmate Testimony

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — A new California law requires corroboration of jailhouse informant testimony.

Gov. Jerry Brown signed the legislation, which means cellmate testimony will no longer be enough to convict criminal defendants, on Monday. It’s effective next year.

SB687 drafted by San Francisco state Sen. Mark Leno applies to cases in which an inmate testifies that a cellmate confessed to a crime. Prosecutors will now be required to corroborate that testimony.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed the same proposal twice at the urging of the California District Attorneys Association, which was opposed to Leno’s bill. The association insisted there was no need for such a law because judges already tell juries to use caution when considering an informant’s testimony.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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