S.1739 - A bill to amend the material witness statute to strengthen procedural safeguards, and for other purposes.109th Congress (2005-2006)
|Sponsor:||Sen. Leahy, Patrick J. [D-VT] (Introduced 09/21/2005)|
|Committees:||Senate - Judiciary|
|Latest Action:||09/21/2005 Read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary. (All Actions)|
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Summary: S.1739 — 109th Congress (2005-2006)All Bill Information (Except Text)
Introduced in Senate (09/21/2005)
Rewrites provisions of the federal criminal code regarding material witnesses.
Authorizes a judicial officer (officer) to: (1) order the arrest of a person as a material witness if it appears from an affidavit filed by a party in a federal criminal case, or by a government attorney in a matter before a federal grand jury, that there is probable cause to believe that the person's testimony is material and that the person has been served with a summons or subpoena (summons) and has failed or refused to appear; and (2) waive the summons requirement upon finding by clear and convincing evidence that service is likely to result in the person fleeing or that the person's appearance cannot adequately be secured.
Establishes warrant requirements, including that the witness be brought before a judicial officer without unnecessary delay and be informed of the right to counsel.
Requires an officer, at the initial appearance, to: (1) inform a witness of the warrant and right to counsel; (2) allow the witness a reasonable opportunity to consult with counsel; and (3) release or detain the witness (authorizes detention where release will not reasonably assure the witness's appearance, but only if the testimony cannot adequately be secured by deposition). Limits the detention period.
Requires: (1) a detention order to direct that a witness be held in a facility separate from persons charged with or convicted of a criminal offense, under the least restrictive conditions possible; and (2) the Attorney General to report annually to the House and Senate Judiciary Committees.