Field Guide to Witness Intimidation

Witness intimidation affecting the criminal justice system can take many forms and arise in many contexts. Its presence and effects are not always self-evident, either to professionals working in the system or to the witnesses themselves. While overt threats may be easily recognized and categorized, other forms of intimidation may be subtle or disguised, or too easily overlooked in the course of responding to what has been identified as the primary criminal offense. This Field Guide to Witness Intimidation is intended to be a convenient reference to assist professionals in identifying acts of witness intimidation that may affect their work with victims and witnesses vulnerable to such pressures.


It’s About Context, Not Character: Admitting Evidence Under R. 404(b)

Proving a crime of intimate partner violence challenges prosecutors to place the criminal act in the context of the relationship’s dynamic of ongoing power and control, with various forms of abuse that may span years or decades. The fullest possible picture of the relationship better enables the jury to understand the defendant’s motive and intent to inflict harm upon the victim. This can be done through admission of other crimes, wrongs, or acts under Federal Rule of Evidence 404(b) and equivalent state or tribal evidence rules or statutes. This webinar identifies types of evidence that may be admissible for purposes permitted under the Rule, suggests ways in which admissibility under the Rule can be argued, and discusses important considerations to avoid reversible error on appeal.

This webinar recording should qualify prosecutors for 1 hour of continuing legal education (CLE) credits. Prosecutors are encouraged to contact their state bar association in reference to application requirements and related fees.

The Prosecutors’ Resource on Forfeiture by Wrongdoing

Forfeiture by wrongdoing is a longstanding exception to a defendant’s Sixth Amendment right to confront the witnesses against him. If a defendant causes a witness to be unavailable for trial through his wrongful acts, with the intention of preventing that witness from testifying, then the introduction of the witness’s prior testimonial statements is not barred by the Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution. This resource will review the origins and requirements of forfeiture by wrongdoing, examine its utility in domestic violence cases, outline trial strategies, and provide a checklist for hearings on forfeiture.