Law: Are Bad Guys Good Witnesses?

De Lorean's acquittal renews doubts about criminals as accusers

During the Los Angeles trial that ended with John De Lorean's acquittal on charges of drug conspiracy and possession, a striking tableau could be seen. At the defendant's table sat De Lorean, tall and handsome, boyish despite his 59 years, as smooth and sleek as the sports car he briefly manufactured. In the witness chair sat his key accuser, James Timothy Hoffman, 43, a hulking, 250-lb. convicted drug dealer and admitted perjurer whose latest job was as a professional informer, setting up his friends and acquaintances for Government stings. When the obese Hoffman...

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