US Senator Bob Casey has introduced legislation, that would make witness intimidation a federal crime.
The new law would also provide grants to local law enforcement to better protect witnesses.
Senator Casey says the State Witness Protection Act could help local law enforcement better protect witnesses and reduce crime
"Witness intimidation is a cowardly crime that has a chilling effect on the work of our region's law enforcement," Senator Casey said. "This legislation will give law enforcement and prosecutors additional tools to combat witness intimidation. I'm hopeful we'll get a bipartisan consensus to pass this legislation this year."
Provides resources to state and local governments for witness protection programs
* Court proceedings involving homicide, serious violent felony, serious drug offense, gangs, or organized crime
Allows federal prosecutors to investigate and bring charges on witness intimidation
* influence, delay, or prevent the testimony of an individual in a State official proceeding
* cause or induce a person to withhold testimony, a document or record; alter or destroy an object to be used in an official proceeding; or be absent from a State official proceeding
* prevent or delay communication of information regarding the violation of the law by any person to a law enforcement officer or judge
* retaliate against a witness for their attendance at a State proceeding or providing information to a law enforcement officer
Sets tough new penalties for witness intimidation