People v. Carradine
Supreme Court of Illinois
287 N.E.2d 670 (1972)
Georgia Carradine (defendant) was a witness to a homicide. Carradine 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. Carradine refused to testify, expressing that she feared for her life and her children’s lives. Carradine persisted in her refusal to testify, even after she was offered the options of protection and relocation. A contempt order was entered against Carradine but was stayed for three days to give Carradine a chance to change her mind about testifying. Carradine 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. Carradine was ordered detained in the county jail until she agreed to testify, but she continued to refuse, and the contempt order was re-entered. Carradine was sentenced to six months of imprisonment and appealed. Carradine requested that her punishment be reduced to time already served due to the special circumstances of her refusal to testify. Carradine 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. Carradine expressed that she did not believe law enforcement could protect her from the Blackstone Rangers, even upon relocation.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Underwood, C.J.)
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