Voice

July/August 2014

Issue link: http://ailahub.aila.org/i/355295

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Lifestyle 9 What's Trending 9 Inter Alia 9 Get Connected 9 Member Advantage 9 Contact Us u Immigration & Crimes w Immigration & Health care w going global w business immigration w behind the case sponsor: about us: 3 Practice Pointers Hoodlum or Hero? Representing the Cooperating Witness by Mary E. Kramer C ombating the forces of organized illegal activity worldwide depends on the information revealed by non–U.S. citizens to U.S. law enforcement. Although they are oen being investigated or prosecuted, or even have been convicted of a crime already, these "informants" and cooperating witnesses, and their family members, still risk their lives to assist the U.S. government in exchange for protection in the United States. All too oen, however, the United States falls short of its obligations. Whether cooperation is gained via a wrien plea agreement or an unwrien moral obligation, witnesses and their families are exposed to violent repercussions, including assassination and torture, on account of assistance given to the U.S. law enforcement officials. In the absence of affirmative government assistance, defense aorneys must fight for their clients in immigration proceedings and in the federal courts with whatever tools are available. In Rranci v. A'y Gen. of the United States, 540 F.3d 165 (3d Cir. 2008), the ird Circuit broached the issue of the United States's obligations to witnesses under the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC). Article 24 of the UNTOC, "Protection of witnesses," reads, "Each State Party shall take appropriate measures within its means to provide effective protection from potential retaliation or intimidation for witnesses in criminal proceedings who give testimony concerning offences covered by this Convention and, as appropriate, for their relatives and other persons close to them." Cooperating witnesses risk their lives to assist the U.S. government in exange for protection. All too oen, however, the United States falls short of its obligations. S Visas: Rarely Used, but Very Useful (FREE!) + LIBRARY PODCAST AILA next uww

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