Video archive of the US Congress

House Proceeding 06-09-09 on Jun 9th, 2009 :: 1:15:00 to 1:20:45
Total video length: 4 hours 42 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

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Elijah E. Cummings

1:14:48 to 1:15:08( Edit History Discussion )

Elijah E. Cummings: the gentleman from georgia is reco mr. johnson: thank you, mr. speaker. with respect to my great colleague from the great state of maryland, congressman cuings, i will yield so much time as he may consume. . the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for an unlimited amount of time.

Elijah E. Cummings

1:15:00 to 1:20:45( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Elijah E. Cummings

Elijah E. Cummings

1:15:09 to 1:15:31( Edit History Discussion )

Elijah E. Cummings: mr. cummings: i want to thank the gentleman, mr. johnson, for yielding, and chairman conyers, chairman scott torques mr. issa, and the entire judiciary committee and the house leadership for recognizing the importance of this legislation by bringing it to the floor today. mr. speaker, while our soldiers fight in iraq and afghanistan,

Elijah E. Cummings

1:15:32 to 1:15:54( Edit History Discussion )

Elijah E. Cummings: many citizens across our nation are facing terrorism right here at home and right in their own neighborhoods. people are being murdered in broad daylight and their kill remembers walking free. because we do not protect witnesses to crimes from threats against their safety, if they cooperate with the police f. they testify in court, or even

Elijah E. Cummings

1:15:55 to 1:16:15( Edit History Discussion )

Elijah E. Cummings: if they are listed as witnesses to testify in court. this epidemic of witness intimidation is a menace to our civil soing and a plague on our entire justice system. in fact, it was the deaths of angela and carnel dawson and their five children, ages 9 to 14, that first motivated me to

Elijah E. Cummings

1:16:16 to 1:16:37( Edit History Discussion )

Elijah E. Cummings: address this issue. i can remember very vividly sitting at a funeral with two adult caskets and four children. one adult casket and five children and then a day later the husband died and then we went to his funeral. the entire dawson family was

Elijah E. Cummings

1:16:38 to 1:17:00( Edit History Discussion )

Elijah E. Cummings: killed in october, 2002, when a gang member firebombed their home in the middle of the night in retaliation for mrs. dawson's repeated complaints to the police about recurring drug trafficking in east baltimore neighborhood. i might add, mr. speaker, that miss dawson literally lives

Elijah E. Cummings

1:17:01 to 1:17:21( Edit History Discussion )

Elijah E. Cummings: within -- lived within about a five-minute drive from my house. they were not affiliated in any way with drugs or gangs. rather mrs. dawson was just a civic minded parent trying to clean up her neighborhood and make it safe place for her children and for other families. while several state and local

Elijah E. Cummings

1:17:22 to 1:17:43( Edit History Discussion )

Elijah E. Cummings: entities have established witness assistance programs, many of these programs have fallen victim to the tough economic times and had to be discontinued. conversely the u.s. marshal service uses $65 million to operate its federal witness security program. it has an excellent track record.

Elijah E. Cummings

1:17:44 to 1:18:05( Edit History Discussion )

Elijah E. Cummings: in all of its years in exis ens they have never been known to lose a witness, and at the same time they have the prosecutors in those cases have an 89% success rate. it is because of this inequity that i call upon my colleagues to give law enforcement the ability to protect the sanctity of our justice system and pass

Elijah E. Cummings

1:18:06 to 1:18:26( Edit History Discussion )

Elijah E. Cummings: h.r. 1741, the witness security and protection grant program act. h.r. 1741 would help local law enforcement officers strengthen witness assistance and protect units -- protection units sending a very loud and clear message to criminals that our citizens and we in the congress of the united states of america will not be deterred by fear

Elijah E. Cummings

1:18:27 to 1:18:47( Edit History Discussion )

Elijah E. Cummings: tactics like intimidation. speaking of intimidation, mr. speaker, in the city of baltimore we have a group that put out a -- two trailers entitled stop snitching. in one of those trailers i along with the state's attorney were threatened because we were

Elijah E. Cummings

1:18:48 to 1:19:09( Edit History Discussion )

Elijah E. Cummings: standing up for this legislation and standing up for witnesses. but i made it very clear to them that i have no fear because if you can have a situation where a person can literally be standing on a corner and 20 people know the perpetrator, perpetrator comes up and blows somebody's

Elijah E. Cummings

1:19:10 to 1:19:31( Edit History Discussion )

Elijah E. Cummings: brains out and nobody testifies, what happens then is that we have then given the criminal more power, we have taken power away from regular citizens, and the next thing you know the criminal feels that there are no consequences to his or her actions. you cannot have a criminal

Elijah E. Cummings

1:19:32 to 1:19:52( Edit History Discussion )

Elijah E. Cummings: justice system that is effective and efficient unless you have the cooperation of witnesses. it is up to this congress to make it very, very clear that we will not under any circumstances stand for witnesses to be intimidated, harmed, threatened,

Elijah E. Cummings

1:19:53 to 1:20:13( Edit History Discussion )

Elijah E. Cummings: killed, and in any way deterred from carrying out their duty to assist police and law enforcement. the bill would provide $150 million in competive grants over five years to enable state and local governments to establish witness assistance programs with priority given to cities or areas that have --

Elijah E. Cummings

1:20:14 to 1:20:34( Edit History Discussion )

Elijah E. Cummings: locales that have an average of at least 100 homicides per year during the most recent five-year period. h.r. 1741 would also allow these programs to receive technical assistance from the united states marshal service. by improving the protection for state and local witnesses, we come one step closer to alleviating the fears and

Elijah E. Cummings

1:20:35 to 1:20:45( Edit History Discussion )

Elijah E. Cummings: threats to prospective witnesses and safeguarding our communities from violence. and again i want to thank mr. conyers, i want to thank mr. johnson, mr. scott, and all of

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