Defendants engage in witness intimidation because it works. To the extent that law enforcement is successful in making witness intimidation a losing proposition for defendants, who will be convicted in spite of their efforts and punished more severely as a result, defendants will be deterred from such attempts. To the extent that law enforcement and allied professionals are able to build trust within the community, and to provide services and assistance to keep victims and witnesses safe, more witnesses will be willing to cooperate throughout the proceedings. Just outcomes can only be assured when witnesses are, indeed, "free to tell the truth" without fear of further victimization by criminal defendants and their allies or by the very system whose interests these witnesses serve.
Author: AEquitas: The Prosecutors' Resource on Violence Against Women
Federal Sponsor Agency: BJA
Provider: AEquitas: The Prosecutors' Resource on Violence Against Women
Publication Date: 2013
Publication Type: PDF