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Thread: Is Witness Protection safe in Hawaii?

  1. #1

    Default Is Witness Protection safe in Hawaii?

    Does Witness Protection actually protect the witness? Would YOU testify in a trial if it might place you in jeopardy of retaliation? Would you trust that all protections would be in place and adhered to?

    StarAdvertiser:
    Federal prosecutors are asking U.S. District Judge Leslie E. Koba*ya*shi to impose sanctions on criminal defense lawyer Marcus Sierra after a bystander found a binder of documents in the restaurant. Sierra acknowledges that the binder is his and says they contain grand jury testimony of two government witnesses.

    The documents are from the racketeering trial of alleged USO Family prison gang member Tinei*malo Adkins and fired state prison guard Feso Malu*fau.
    Otake asked Koba*ya*shi to impose sanctions Thursday not just because of the protective order, but also because the documents could have been used to threaten and intimidate witnesses.

    "This was an extraordinary case when it comes to witness protection," Otake said. "We've been trying very hard to protect our witnesses as best we could."

    During the trial, prosecutors filed documents under seal asking the court for permission to admit evidence of Adkins intimidating witnesses, after authorities found in his possession a complete list of the government's proposed witnesses, including names that had been blacked out on the publicly available witness list.
    The documents were found in a restaurant, left there by the defense attorney. I did not know that sealed documents that could endanger the witness if read by the wrong person were allowed out of the safety of a court room or official secured location.
    Now run along and play, but donít get into trouble.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Is Witness Protection safe in Hawaii?

    If a mistake or error can be made, be assured someone will make it.

    Of course, that does not mean the documents were not left deliberately....
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Is Witness Protection safe in Hawaii?

    Quote Originally Posted by Amati View Post
    Does Witness Protection actually protect the witness?

    Would YOU testify in a trial if it might place you in jeopardy of retaliation?

    Would you trust that all protections would be in place and adhered to?

    The documents were found in a restaurant, left there by the defense attorney. I did not know that sealed documents that could endanger the witness if read by the wrong person were allowed out of the safety of a court room or official secured location.
    A determined assailant will always be near impossible to defend 100% against.

    I was the star witness in a '80 murder trial involving 2 Samoan cabbies, one took a bullet between the eyes in the parking lot twix Falls Of Clyde and The Oceania. The families were not the overtly violent type so I felt no immediate threat, they just wanted resolve.

    However, protection was essentially non-existant when during a break in proceedings everybody was standing in the Alii'olani rotunda foyer, opposing families seperated across the room staring each other down, and then all the women charged into battle! The mele raged as the men tried in vain to gain control and only until exaustion overcame the women did it even start to calm down. Anything could have happened at that point. Leslie Wilcox probably remembers that one well.

    This latest snafu is an example of how tenuous justice and safety is in violent proceedings, a coniving mind can take big advantage of shoddy, proceedure and accountability. We lucked out on this one, it seems.

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