Witness Intimidation

"Snitching"

Truth lies at the very heart of our system of justice.  In fact, the word “verdict” derives from the Latin veredictum, which literally means "to say the truth".  Finding the truth, however, is not always so simple. Courts, cops and prosecutors can’t do it alone, because they do not always have the first hand information that they need to get the truth.  That’s where witnesses come in.  Witnesses are often called upon to tell police and prosecutors what they saw, learned or heard, and while some may be reluctant to come forward with information –either because they are anxious or do not want to be branded a “snitch”—our system of justice cannot survive without them.  In other words, telling the truth is not “snitching”; it’s making sure that our system works.  It’s making sure that the right person is held accountable for the right crime.  On the other hand, we recognize that witnesses often feel intimidated or fear reprisals for cooperating with police and prosecutors.  It is a crime to intimidate a witness. If you are a witness to a crime and have these fears, please contact a Witness Specialist at (518) 694-8445 to discuss options for ensuring your safety. 

 

Senator Chuck Schumer sponsors The State Witness Protection Act