Should a Murder Witness's ID Be Kept Secret?

Have you ever heard the saying "snitches get stitches and end up in ditches"? Pretty harsh, but the innuendo around this statement is that tattletales will suffer consequences. So when it comes to public safety and crime — say, witnessing a murder — how do citizens helping to achieve justice by serving as a witness stay protected? 

A plan to give witnesses to murders and high crimes more protection in the state of Florida is currently fighting its way through the Senate. Two weeks ago, House members gave an identical proposal unanimous approval. Earlier this week, the Senate Criminal Justice Committee passed the Floridian bill on a 4-3 vote. 

If passed, the measure would, keep murder witnesses' identities confidential; exempting them from mention in public records for a total of up to two years after the crime. 

Today, State Rep. Cynthia Stafford detailed to us why this witness protection bill is needed. She mentioned that the same measures of protection are given to sexual abuse victims and adolescents, so why shouldn't vital witnesses to high crimes be afforded the same rights? 

The proposal is thought to also assist law enforcement in obtaining witnesses by offering the exemption from Florida's public records law. Are there people who aren't coming forward out of fear of retaliation? Would these extra steps of protection entice them to speak up? 

State Representative Cynthia Stafford and Fernand discuss whether snitches really do get stitches and what the Florida legislature is doing to protect witnesses in murder trials. They also touched upon the subject of gun control. Listen here!

In all honesty, it is challenging to answer some of these questions. In fact, several committee members are questioning whether the proposal offers the protection it intends because due to the fact that their identities would still be shared with the defendant’s attorney and eventually released after court proceedings begin. 

What do you think? Should this Florida bill be passed? Will these new protections assist law enforcement officers and keep witnesses safe? Take the poll above and post your comments below!

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content