Intimidating a witness ma kaw
Are these crimes always felonies or are these crimes considered misdemeanors or felonies based on the sentence? The latter formulation doesn't make sense as the the determination of felony status would be so late in the game. 218 § 27, “[t]he district court may impose the same penalties as the superior court for all crimes of which they have jurisdiction, except that they may not impose a sentence to the state prison.” Therefore, no crime tried in the district court is “punishable by death or imprisonment in the state prison,” as required by the M.
Pursuant to this exception, a defendant who has caused a witness to be unavailable for trial forfeits his right to cross-examine that witness and, consequently, cannot object to the admission of that absent witness’s statements.Edwards reduces the incentive for defendants to convince witnesses (whether by intimidation or persuasion) to avoid testifying and allows the Commonwealth to proceed when defendants do procure absence.The Edwards decision states that, because intimidation and threats are often hard to prove, prosecutors only have to prove that the defendant had a “meaningful impact” on the witness’s unavailability or decision not to testify.Far from isolated or episodic, intimidation of one sort or another was estimated as being present in approximately 90% of all cases involving guns, gangs and violence – but Conley saw early in his tenure that law enforcement and the courts were hamstrung in their efforts to deter and punish it.
In 2004 and again in 2005, DA Conley testified before State House panels that witness intimidation could no longer be considered a problem for law enforcement alone – it had become so widespread that it amounted to a civil rights issue.
Taken together, these approaches comprise a comprehensive strategy that runs from the courtroom to the community and from the corridors of power to the classrooms of our schools.