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The Rachel Hoffman Story – Why?

August 31st, 2012 by Michael Tabor
Rachel Hoffman, Confidential Informant No. 1129, would have been 27 at the beginning of this summer and have had her whole life ahead of her. Just be caught with a little bit of weed (if you are poor) and the DEA will deem you as an expendable throwaway. What makes the story all the more appalling is these “throwaways” (This week’s New Yorker Sept. 3, 2012 uses this byname) are not used for strategic purposes (even this would be wrong) but for economic reasons. It’s just too expensive to train a highly skilled operative, it’s much cheaper to use a poor person with a drug problem, no one cares about them anyway.
Rachel Hoffman was murdered in 2008 by a couple of vicious violent felons; she was found dead a couple days after the botched drug/gun deal in a small town in Florida with 5 bullet holes in the chest and head from the very gun she was supposed to safely buy. Rachel was 23 but the police have no problem using drug-addicted disposable pawns as young as 14 or 15 and very often they are instructed and expected to carry out these unspeakably dangerous, often complex transactions while still trying to function through the drug-addled haze of addiction. The most sickening account which was outlined in the ‘New Yorker’ occurred in Lebanon, Kentucky in which the 18 year old, Lebron Gaither, an untrained informant was “tortured, beaten with a bat, shot with a pistol and a shotgun, run over by a car, and dragged by a chain through the woods. ” Doesn’t law enforcement know that in the twisted world of criminality, there is nothing worse than a “rat”. So if things don’t work out, you can be assured of a nasty brutal death.
What makes the this whole business of enlisting confidential informants even more harrowing is the police make it sound so easy and almost impossible to turn down such a seemingly sweet deal. You are 18 and you face 5 years of prison for having a few ounces of pot or cooperate and you get 6 months’ probation.
What is the value of a 23 year old Rachel Hoffman if it were possible to put a $$ amount on a precious, yet poor and troubled (Rachel should been sent to rehab, not prison, and certainly not recruited for a sting operation.) human being ? Lebron Gaither, the young man who was tortured beyond words, the family of whom thought that perhaps one-hundred and sixty-eight thousand dollars would suffice and help them cope with their loss for wrongful-death. Sadly they were awarded this paltry sum (no $$ amount is enough) and then it was vacated; the appeals court ruled that “the police could not be held accountable because the execution of the undercover operation was left to the judgment and discretion of the detectives.” What ?
So WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think? How can we allow this to go on.? R.I.P. –Rachel Hoffman.
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2 Responses to “The Rachel Hoffman Story – Why?”

  1. Chip Says:

    Michael,
    I had no idea that this was going on, though as I was reading your article the first thing that came to mind was “should this shock me?; to which I answered “No; this is just so typical of society these days (yes, I will admit to talking to myself!). If you’re rich, you can get away with virtually anything, even murder; but if you’re poor you’re treated like a nobody. These days if you go to court, it doesn’t matter if you’re right or wrong, it just matters if you have the money to have the better lawyer with the know how and the connections.
    Thanks for the education! Now excuse me while I hurl.

  2. Michael Tabor Says:

    I didn’t know this was going on either. Just think, are we that despicable? You see this kind of stuff in movies in which the protaganist always prevails, but this story just made me sick + the injustice of our judicial system. Oh- we all talk to ourselves – lol.

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