Posted on January 12, 2006

‘Stop Snitching’ Logo Banned from Courthouses

AP, Jan. 11, 2006

BOSTON, Massachusetts — A top Massachusetts judge has banned clothing bearing the phrase “Stop Snitching” and outlawed camera phones in the state’s courthouses in an effort to counter a rising climate of witness intimidation.

The move by Robert A. Mulligan, chief justice for administration and management of the state’s court system, follows a year in which the city recorded a 10-year high for homicides.

“There are some people coming to courthouses, a very small fraction of people, who come there to chill individuals from participating in the process,” Mulligan told The Boston Globe in an interview published Wednesday.

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Also, no one will be allowed to operate cell phones equipped with still or video cameras inside a courtroom.

Mulligan said the policy was motivated in part by an incident in Salem Superior Court last spring. During a gang-related trial, several friends of the defendant were seen using camera phones to photograph a prosecutor, a police investigator and a witness who was testifying, according to Steve O’Connell, a spokesman for the Essex District Attorney’s office.

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