Wednesday, November 9, 2011

3 Things You Suspect About The Witness Protection Program - That Aren't True

Talk about long titles eh? Anyways, we all probably know what the Witness Protection Program is; a worthless program to create a false sense of protection for snitches so that we can extract information out of them, right? We've all seen those TV shows and movies where they track down the snitch within a single episode's time and kill the snitch as he/she begs for mercy with their white collar family in a sub-urban home, but is it true? Well it's about time to shine some light into the Witness Protection Program once and for all.

3. The Witness Protection Program is a hack!

Many people believe that the Witness Protection Program is equivalent to calling yourself Timmy and hiding in your closet. At most, the program will simply give you a different name and re-locate you a few miles south! Even at that, the police are as corrupt as a giant rocks balancing on larger stationary rocks! They'll give up your location at a heart's beat!

You got me. I only made made that simile so that I could use this image.

In reality, not a single member of the Witness Protection Program has ever been harmed while they followed the guidelines of the program. That's right. As long as you don't call your friends back in prison to tell them how you got away and how lame they are, you've gotten away scot-free. Which brings me to my next point.
"U.S. Marshals Service Witness Security personnel are the leading authorities and foremost experts on witness security matters, providing guidance and training to many government officials throughout the world."[1]

2. Pretty Much Any Criminal Can Get Avoid Jail By Testifying And Entering The Witness Protection Program

Well everything can't be all butterflies and tulips, right? Sure, we can get some concrete evidence against some large criminal organizations and stuff, but a lot of the time, the program allows extremely violent and evil people to simply prance away from jail by simply testifying a extremely vague and obvious testimony.

  Actually, getting into Witness Protection can actually be a semi-difficult thing to do. First off, they need to make sure that what you bring to the table is worth it. If your testimony is 100% essential to a serious case, then you're in. However, if they can get the same testimony from another criminal that is at less chance of "running back to their old ways of crime", they'll go straight to him/her and ignore you.

After making sure that your testimony is vital to the case, they'll make sure that you show up at the trial to give your testimony and make sure that the testimony was credible in the first place. If you keep making excuses or they find little holes your statement, you won't get a new identity. However, at the end of the day, the United States Attorney General's office makes the final decision on who gets in the program after confirming that the statement is necessary, valid, and the person is unlikely to go back to a life of crime before they decide to use the taxpayers' money to keep you safe.
"More than 8,300 witnesses and 9,800 of their authorized family members have participated in the program since it began in 1971." [1]
1. You Get Basically Nothing
"Woah! Check out that intangible orange!" 

Let's pretend that you got into the program. Congratulations by the way. What exactly do you get? Do they simply throw a few passports/state IDs and throw you off a black van in the middle of nowhere? It's hardly worth giving up your house, your friends, and your six-figure job to simply testify against some bad nuts, right?  

The Witness Protection Program isn't simply a "throw backpack full of stuff at you and forget"-type of program. They give you a fair chance to get back on your feet and re-build your life after affiliating yourself with a gang or mob. First off, they'll help you find a reasonable job, (So don't worry, you won't end up with some lame desk job and get paid minimum wage afterwards. Unless that's what you really want.) give you training in practical activities, and help you find housing.

If you still find yourself out of work after three days of grueling job-searching, be happy to know that witnesses usually receive about sixty thousand dollars in payments to help pay for the bills and meals. However, if you think that you're going to live off these payments and stop looking for a job, the payments will stop. All in all, this program offers a second chance to restart your life and make new friends and associates after following the wrong people the first time.
"The program provides a unique and valuable tool in the U.S. government's battle against organized crime, drug trafficking organizations, terrorism and other major criminal enterprises."[1