Criminal Law Keyed to Johnson
People v. Carradine
Georgia Carradine (Defendant) was a witness to a homicide. Defendant had given a statement to a prosecutor, but later failed to respond to a subpoena calling her to testify and was eventually brought into court pursuant to a bench warrant. Defendant refused to testify, expressing that she feared for her life and her children’s lives. Defendant persisted in her refusal to testify, even after she was offered the options of protection and relocation. A contempt order was entered against Defendant but was stayed for three days to give Defendant a chance to change her mind about testifying. Defendant appeared before the court two more times, accompanied by counsel, and refused to testify each time despite further offers to relocate her and her family to another city or state. Defendant was ordered detained in the county jail until she agreed to testify, but she continued to refuse, and the contempt order was re-entered. Defendant was sentenced to six months of imprisonment and appealed. Defendant requested that her punishment be reduced to time already served due to the special circumstances of her refusal to testify. Defendant told the court that she was scared to testify against the defendants in the homicide case, because the defendants were members of a youth gang called the Blackstone Rangers and that she never would have provided the original statement to prosecutors if she had known that she would have to appear in court. Defendant expressed that she did not believe law enforcement could protect her from the Blackstone Rangers, even upon relocation.
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