LOUISIANA DISTRICT ATTORNEYS ASSOCIATION PROPOSAL

LOUISIANA DISTRICT ATTORNEYS ASSOCIATION
P R O P O S A L F O R M 2 0 1 5 - 51
SUBJECT MATTER:
CRIMINAL LAW
PRESENT LAW: R.S. 14:129.1; 14:130.1
PROPOSED LAW: To prohibit witness tampering
PROPOSED STATUTORY LANGUAGE:
§130.1. Obstruction of justice
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(4) Inducing or persuading or attempting to induce or persuade any person to;
(a) testify falsely or, without right or privilege to do so, to withhold any
testimony; or
(b) absent himself from such proceedings despite having received service
of a subpoena; or
(c) avoid service of a subpoena; or
(d) withhold from a law enforcement agency information which he or she
has that is relevant to a criminal investigation.
REASON FOR PROPOSAL:
The present statutes concerning people who try to distort the criminal justice process—
obstruction of justice (R.S. 14:130.1), and intimidating a witness (R.S. 14:129.1)—require as
an element the use of threats, force, or intimidation. However, witness tampering is a problem
even when threats, force, or intimidation is not used (or cannot be proven). This proposal is
designed to permit prosecutions even in the absence of threats, force, or intimidation.
PROPOSER'S ID INFORMATION:
Name & Title:
Judicial District:
Address:
Phone:
Bruce Dearing, Assistant District Attorney
22nd (St. Tammany, Washington Parishes)
701 N. Columbia Street, Covington, LA 70433
(985) 309-8353
MEMORANDUM
TO:
LDAA BOARD OF DIRECTORS
ALL ELECTED DISTRICT ATTORNEYS
FROM:
Bruce Dearing, PROPOSER
DATE:
November 3, 2015
RE:
2015 LEGISLATIVE PROPOSAL
There are presently statutes which address the problem of witness tampering, but each of
them requires us to prove, as an element, either the threat of force against, the use of force
against, or injury to the witness (or the witness's property, or family members, etc.). See La.
R.S. 14:129.1; R.S. 14:130.1.
This would allow us to prosecute people who attempt to influence the judicial process
but do so without the overt use (or threats) of force.
POTENTIAL OPPOSITION.
Defense attorneys, criminals.
TALKING POINTS
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Witness tampering is a problem;
existing law does not adequately
address the problem;
this law will help to adequately
address the problem.
PROPOSAL IN BILL FORM
SLS / HLS ORIGINAL
REGULAR SESSION 2015
SENATE BILL NO. / HOUSE BILL NO.
BY: SENATOR / REPRESENTATIVE
AN ACT
To enact La. R.S. 14:130.1, relative to witness tampering.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of Louisiana:
La. R.S. 14:130.1 is hereby amended and reenacted to read as follows:
§130.1. Obstruction of justice
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(4) Inducing or persuading or attempting to induce or persuade any person to;
(a) testify falsely or, witout right or privelge to do so, to withhold any
testimony; or
(b) absent himself from such proceedings despite havine received service
of a subpoena; or
(c) avoid service of a subpoena; or
(d) withhold from a law enforecemnt agency information which he or she