Like most Philadelphia citizens, I have been horrified by the recent surge in gun violence in our city. Even as the homicide rates have risen, an epidemic of silence has stricken witness after witness. For those who have seen their loved ones harmed or killed, silence perhaps seems like safety. For those who perceive inequities in our criminal justice system, silence perhaps seems like loyalty. However, I believe silence is neither safety, nor loyalty.
Senate Bill 1126, a piece of legislation that I introduced in March 2006, would toughen penalties for those convicted of witness intimidation.