DA changes witness payment policy

LAS VEGAS -- The Clark County District Attorney's Office announced changes to its witnesses assistance fund in an effort to be more transparent.

According to the office, it will now disclose to all defendants, through their attorneys, instances in which the fund has been or will be used to assist victims or witnesses.

The office does point out that the fund is used rarely and it is used to make sure victims and witnesses, especially in violent crimes, appear in court to testify. The DA gave an example of  the fund being used to relocate a witness in a gang-related crime after his home had been shot at in a drive-by shooting.   

The new transparency policy comes after a controversy over rent payments for witnesses. The DA said of the 56 payments made over the last decade, 49 were for one-time rental or relocation assistance.

The DA will also disclose past payments, dating back to 2005.

 


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