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November 20, 2007
IT'S A JUSTICE SYSTEM PARALYZED BY TERROR:
In cities struggling with gang-related crimes, like Trenton and Newark, detectives said that even on the infrequent occasions when they find civilian witnesses who might be willing to testify, investigators are wary about pressuring them to appear in court. That reluctance is based on a fear that the authorities might not be able to protect witnesses from retaliation.
In the New Jersey State Police gang unit, the approach is so common that detectives have made hundreds of cases during the past five years, but used civilian testimony fewer than a dozen times, investigators said. . . . No one much disputes that the strategy amounts to something of a retreat for law enforcement in New Jersey. . . . Some state officials who support Mr. Corzine’s proposals said that New Jersey’s witness intimidation problem had grown so complex and severe that it would take a broader effort, from both government and community leaders, to combat it.
“The bad guys are willing to use tactics that the good guys haven’t yet figured out how to deal with,” said State Senator John H. Adler, chairman of the Judiciary Committee.
It's a quagmire, the local political system is inept, and the corruption and terror will never end. U.S. out of New Jersey now!
UPDATE: Professor Joseph Olson emails:
From your blog: "“The bad guys are willing to use tactics that the good guys haven’t yet figured out how to deal with,” said State Senator John H. Adler, chairman of the [New Jersey] Judiciary Committee."
The good guys know what to do, you protect yourself. But NJ bad guys have the advantage of government assistance because the NJ legislature has made certain that all potential victims will be defenseless by enacting a discretionary handgun carry permit law (under which only the politically connected and those guarding other people's money can protect themselves). A police promise to draw a nice chalk line around your dead body doesn't provide much in the way of "protect and serve." No wonder no one will testify. I wouldn't.
BTW, NJ also bans civilian use of hollowpoint bullets that effectively stop attackers.
Better working conditions for criminals yield more crime. Natch!
Yeah, go figure.