Sen. Bob Casey is trying to make Philly’s witness intimidation problem a federal matter, AP reports. He’s co-sponsoring a bill “to stiffen penalties and form a dedicated federal funding source to address witness intimidation,” and is pushing Attorney General Eric Holder for more assistance now.
Since 2010, when prosecutors began compiling data on witness intimidation, more than 3,700 cases have been filed in Philadelphia. The cases range from execution-style slayings to courtroom threats.
Casey, a Democrat from Scranton, sent a letter on Thursday to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, asking the Justice Department to devote more of its available resources to help combat witness intimidation in Philadelphia and other cities, such as sending in federal agents.
Philly D.A. Seth Williams says that prosecutors have financially helped more than 150 families move in recent years to enable prosecution of cases without the risk of intimidation.