Can You Impeach Police Informant's Testimony ?
In People v. Mays, 188 Ill. App. 3d 974, 544 N.E.2d 1264, 136 Ill. Dec. 489 (1989) the appellate court found that the trial court improperly denied the defendant's request to attempt to impeach a police informant, when it refused to allow the defendant to present witnesses who would testify about the police informant's prior suicide attempt. Mays, 188 Ill. App. 3d at 980-81.
The police informant had been asked on direct examination about an incident in which he was found in the jail hanging with a towel around his neck and he described this incident as a stunt and not a real suicide attempt. Mays, 188 Ill. App. 3d at 980-81.
The trial court was found to have abused its discretion by excluding impeachment testimony from the police informant's prison cell mate and a prison guard that he had made an actual attempt to commit suicide as the jury should have been allowed to consider this evidence in order to determine the weight to give the police informant's testimony. Mays, 188 Ill. App. 3d at 980-81.