The ongoing Klansman gang trial has brought sharply into focus the security environment around the country’s Witness Protection programme. Witnesses have detailed in shocking terms, bombshell evidence, which would compromise their safety and that of their families. And what about the commitment of authorities to protect and encourage witnesses in these cases?
Witnesses in the ongoing Klansman gang trial have been giving shocking and damning allegations, implicating fellow gang members among others. There is growing concern being expressed in the public about the safety of these witnesses and their families. The witnesses have opted for the Witness Protection programme, the credibility of which has been questioned on several occasions. But security expert, Criminologist, Dr. Jason Mckay, says he can guarantee the program’s effectiveness in keeping witnesses safe.
The program has been running for over 10 years. Law enforcement officers and attorneys are completely left out of the intricacies of the programme at a certain point, given its sensitive nature. He shares that participation in the program varies.
As it relates to family members of the witness who may be considered targets, Defense Attorney, Peter Champagnie suggests protection may apply to them as well.
Being a witness is a civic duty that Champagnie says is one of the best ways to combat crime in the country. Even in a society that attaches a negative connotation to testifying McKay says this is the most effective way to bring criminals to justice.
More in this CVM Live story from Jhaneille Powell: