The Champion

June 2017 , Page 34 

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Fighting Governmental Witness Tampering - (Or, You Can Have Our Defense Witnesses When You Pry Them From Our Cold, Dead Hands)

By Kevin Sali and John Robb

A layperson, asked how a trial in a serious criminal case typically unfolds, will likely give a quaintly naïve response. The prosecutor, the layperson might respond, puts on witnesses and other evidence tending to show that the defendant is guilty of the charged crime. The defense lawyer cross-examines the prosecution witnesses to reveal any reasons their testimony may be unreliable, and to draw out any additional evidence that may favor the defense. When the prosecution’s case is over, the defense presents any witnesses and evidence that may show that the defendant did not commit the crime (or that the government’s proof has weaknesses), and the prosecution gets its shot at undermining that evidence. Finally, the jury looks at all of the evidence submitted by both sides and decides whether guilt has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

People who work within the criminal justice system know that this is not really the way it works. They know that this picture of a

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