Witness Protection Bill Signed Into Law
If someone threatened your life if you testified against them in court, would you do it?
Prosecutors are hoping a new law signed by Governor Phil Bryant will encourage more witnesses to take the stand.
House Bill 13-67 stiffens penalties for those who intimidate witnesses through harassment or threats.
The sentence for manipulating the criminal justice system which includes false affidavits, intimidation, or bribery of jurors will increase from two years to 15 years.
The new law will also make killing a state or federal witness capital murder.
“Some of the things we were seeing we recognized as a problem the old laws didn’t cover it and we created 1367 to address it. We need witnesses to be able to prosecute cases in the criminal justice system and gangs realize that and so they were threatening, harassing, and intimidating witnesses and preventing our cases from being able to go forward.”
– Tony Lawrence District Attorney For Jackson, George, & Greene Counties
Lawrence tells News 25 he hopes this not only encourages more witnesses to testify, but also deters violent criminals from doing what they’re doing to avoid prison.
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