Baltimore Sun jumps on the bandwagon

The Sun has picked up the witness murder story I blogged about yesterday, as well as the "Stupid witnesses get what they deserve" meme, and shame on them for it.
Cooperating with authorities - though vital to the criminal justice system - can be dangerous.


But many Baltimore witnesses aren't accepting help. Some, like the Dawsons, refuse to leave their dangerous neighborhoods. Still more witnesses, like Dowery, participate only halfway, agreeing to relocate but returning to their old haunts, witness coordinators say.
Halfway? Are you kidding me? From the same story:

After watching his friend rob drug dealers in his East Baltimore neighborhood and then overhearing the dealers' bosses discuss killing the robber, Dowery agreed to become a witness in a city murder case.

Dowery was shot at least six times outside his home in October 2005 in what police believe was an attempt to silence him, but he testified anyway. When the case became federal this year, he agreed to help with that, too.

Ah yes, risking your life multiple times in the interest of justice is "going halfway" for the Sun. What more could Mr. Dowery have done short of raising the murdered men from the dead?

Rep. Cummings even joins the party:
"You can give someone all the witness protection you want, but if someone wants to go back to their neighborhood, what can you do?" said Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, a Baltimore Democrat who has proposed legislation to beef up local witness protection programs.


Cummings introduced legislation that would help give states a version of witness protection more like the federal program. The legislation has languished for almost two years in a House subcommittee, but with the Democrats about to assume power in Washington, Cummings said he plans to reintroduce it in January.

State's Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy has said she supports Cummings' bill. She said she wants witness protection to be handled statewide and run by the Maryland State Police, instead of individual state's attorney's offices. The goal, she said, would be to give Baltimore witnesses the same sense of security that federal witnesses have.
What is disturbing is what Rep. Cummings acknowledges without even saying or meaning to. He acknowledges that the police have NO CONTROL over the violence in the city. Its assumed that Mr. Dowery's returning to his neighborhood might as well have been a suicide attempt. As if it is Mr. Dowery's fault that he was murdered, not that of the spineless criminals that shot a father of nine. Those criminals are an afterthought. They most likely won't be caught, and no one seems to care.

All the state cares about is keeping their witnesses alive long enough to testify, and if those witnesses DARE TO GET MURDERED, they probably had it coming.

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