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Photo of Senator Doug McCrory.

STATE SENATOR

Doug McCrory

Protecting Witnesses

I'm proud to say that I introduced an amendment to create a tough new penalty for physically threatening or harming a witness in a court trial. The amended bill passed the Judiciary Committee last week on a bipartisan and unanimous vote of 41-0. My bill, Senate Bill 980, "An Act Concerning Tampering With a Witness," makes it a Class B felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison to "physically harm or threaten to physically harm" a witness or a third person who is involved in a court proceeding.

My bill, Senate Bill 980, "An Act Concerning Tampering With a Witness," makes it a Class B felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison to "physically harm or threaten to physically harm" a witness or a third person who is involved in a court proceeding.

justice

If this proposal is ultimately passed by both chambers of the General Assembly and signed into law by the governor, it would make threatening or harming a witness a Class B felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

Currently in state law, it is already a Class C felony (punishable by up to 10 years in prison) to induce a witness to testify falsely, to withhold testimony, to elude the legal summons process, or to make a witness unavailable to testify in any proceeding.

I submitted the legislation after a constituent of mine was verbally threatened, and her grandson physically assaulted, after the grandson agreed to testify at a murder trial in Hartford.

My hope is that a more severe, increased penalty will stop people from threatening and harming witnesses. When good people make the decision that they want to do something about a crime, and work within the judicial system, and work to make their communities better, they shouldn't be afraid to do that.