From the 2005 News Archive
Congressional Subcommittee hearing on witness intimidation postponed.
The Congressional Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human Resources
of the Committee on Government Reform
hearing on witness intimidation at the School of Law scheduled for April 12 has been postponed.
Leading government figures are expected to attend. Subcommittee members Representative Mark E. Souder
of Indiana, Chair, and Representatives Elijah Cummings ('76)
, Ranking Member, and C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger
, both of Maryland, will hear testimony. The Subcommittee expects to take testimony from several panels of speakers. Local government officials including Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley ('88)
, Baltimore City State's Attorney Patricia Jessamy
, and Baltimore City Police Commissioner Leonard Hamm are expected to testify. Local community members and federal officials will also speak to the committee.
The issue of witness intimidation has received increasing national attention in part due to devastating tragedies in Baltimore. In 2002, a fire set to the house of the Angela Dawson -- an anti-drug activist -- killed her and six members of her family. Today, Baltimore is developing new models of policing and new state legislation to combat witness intimidation. On the federal level, Congressman Cummings has just introduced The Witness Security and Protection Act of 2005 to authorize $90 million in competitive grants per year for the next 3 years to assist State and local district attorneys in protecting their witnesses in cases involving homicide, serious violent felonies, and serious drug offenses. Prosecutors could use the funding to provide their own witness protection or pay the cost of protecting their witnesses in a new Short-Term Witness Protection Program within United States Marshall Service.
The hearing will take place in the Ceremonial Court Room and will be simulcast in Room 107. Students, faculty and staff who wish to attend the hearing in either venue should rsvp to Ms. Janine Moultrie at firstname.lastname@example.org.