Can Court Compel Disclosure of Informant's Identity In Texas ?
As a general rule, the state has a privilege to refuse to disclose the identity of a person who has furnished information relating to or assisting in an investigation of a possible violation of a law to a law enforcement officer conducting an investigation. TEX. R. EVID. 508(a).
However, a court should order that the state disclose the identity of a confidential informant if the informant may reasonably be able to give testimony necessary to a fair determination of the issues of guilt and innocence. TEX. R. EVID. 508(c)(2); Anderson v. State, 817 S.W.2d 69, 72 (Tex. Crim. App. 1991).
The potential testimony must, however, significantly aid the defendant. Mere conjecture or supposition about possible relevance is insufficient. Bodin v. State, 807 S.W.2d 313, 318 (Tex. Crim. App. 1991).
The burden is initially on the accused to show that there is an informant who may be able to give testimony necessary to a fair determination of the defendant's guilt or innocence. Id.; Smith v. State, 781 S.W.2d 418, 421 (Tex. App.-Houston [1st Dist.] 1989, no pet.).
Evidence from any source, but not mere conjecture or speculation, must be presented to make the required showing that the informant's identity must be disclosed. Bodin, 807 S.W.2d at 318.
Only after such a showing is the trial court required to hold an in camera hearing. Bodin, 807 S.W.2d at 319; Brokenberry v. State, 853 S.W.2d 145, 148 (Tex. App.-Houston [14 Dist.] 1993, pet. ref'd).
The mere filing of a Rule 508 motion is insufficient to obtain a hearing, much less compel disclosure. Bodin, 807 S.W.2d at 318.
TEX. R. EVID. 606(b) absolutely forbids evidence either by testimony or by affidavit to be taken from a juror about "any matter or statement occurring during the jury's deliberations, or to the effect of anything on any juror's mind or emotions or mental processes, as influencing any juror's assent to or dissent from the verdict or indictment."