Archive for December, 2018

Real World Graduation, Question 59: Witness Protection

RealWorldGraduation_Question_59_WitnessProtection   <– PDF

One evening, a local tavern was invaded by a large number of motorcycle gang members. Their main mission was to intimidate the bar owner over some previous incident, but some of the members of the gang decided to have a little “fun” and assault the customers, including people who had no stake in the previous incident, and were only having a few beers after work.  Some of the bar patrons were injured seriously enough to require hospitalization.  The police were called, and they were able to make a few arrests, although most of the gang members dispersed before the police came.

Because so many innocent people were injured, the case became a local sensation. Usually the gang members were able to buy off certain officials to reduce charges, but were unable to do so in this case because of public outrage at the scale and severity of the attack.  As the prosecutor was preparing his case against the gang members who had been arrested, a reliable informant reported that the other members of the gang intended to kill anyone they believed would testify against the defendants.  This particular gang operated nation-wide according to a strict organized crime discipline.  They had a long-established reputation for carrying out their threats; they have promised “to finish the job” if any of the victims testify.  But there is little chance of a conviction if the victims do not testify.  The prosecutor was faced with a choice of: a) dropping the cases; b) watering the charges down to a laughable set of misdemeanors, or c) proceeding with the case, and offering each of the victims entry into the Witness Protection Program.  The victims are asked to consider the third prosecutorial option.  What are the benefits of the Witness Protection Program for the victims who testify?

a) They are given a new identity.

b) They are relocated out of the area.

c) They receive protection at public expense.

d) They receive monthly payments in return for standing up to the criminals in the interest of justice.

e) All of the above.

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