Monday, February 13, 2012

Columnist demands witness protection program

Eye witnesses to violent crimes in Youngstown, Ohio see no evil because they are afraid — very afraid, according to Youngstown Vindicator columnist Bertram de Souza. Not only are the human predators brazen in their criminal activities, they have no qualms about threatening those who might cooperate with the authorities.

De Souza proposes that county prosecutors need a witness protection program similar to what the federal government operates. The major barrier to the development of such a system in Mahoning County is money. Local governments can’t afford the cost of not only providing witnesses with safe houses while they are waiting to testify, but relocating them when the trial is over.

Nonetheless, the situation demands action. The federal and state governments have a responsibility to help the county establish the program and then fund it.

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