Saturday, December 27, 2014

$200G To Protect Crime Witnesses & Criminal Justice System

Mayor Nutter, along with elected and law enforcement officials, officially announced this morning that the city was putting $200,000 toward combating witness intimidation in court cases. Nutter put up the money on June 17 in response to legislation from City Councilman Curtis Jones Jr., which would have created a fine for people who attempted to intimidate witnesses in criminal matters.

$200G To Protect Crime Witnesses & Criminal Justice System

Mayor Nutter, along with elected and law enforcement officials, officially announced this morning that the city was putting $200,000 toward combating witness intimidation in court cases.  Nutter put up the money on June 17 in response to legislation from City Councilman Curtis Jones Jr., which would have created a fine for people who attempted to intimidate witnesses in criminal matters.

Nutter this morning cited the recent "catch-a-rep" case where three of four minors accused of attacking an elderly man went free in court after a young female witness recanted her statement and said she had faced death threats.  "They need to know that when they come forward that we are there to support and protect them," Nutter said of witnesses.

District Attorney Seth Williams warned that the "very fabric of our criminal justice system" was at risk of witnesses continued to be intimidated. "The very nature of our criminal justice system will fall apart if we can't protect those who are willing to provide information to us," Williams said.

Nutter said he plans to spend the summer with law enforcement officials in a series of meeting with religious and community leaders to come up with a way to combat the culture of witness intimidation in the city's neighborhoods.

About this blog
Chris Brennan, a native Philadelphian and graduate of Temple University, joined the Daily News in 1999. He has written about SEPTA, the Philadelphia School District, the legalization of casino gambling, state government, the mayor, the governor, City Council and political campaigns. E-mail tips to brennac@phillynews.com
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to dehuffj@phillynews.com
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