Victim Rights Advocates Call for Constitutional Amendment

vic rtsWASHINGTON – Victims of crimes are treated by the U.S. “roll-of-the-dice” criminal justice system as pawns, dogs and second-class citizens, advocates said at a news conference Thursday to introduce a proposed Victims’ Rights Amendment.

Sponsored by Reps. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., Jim Costa, D-Calif., and Ed Royce, R-Calif., the amendment would provide crime victims with the right to be heard at any release, plea or sentencing and require they receive “reasonable” notice of public proceedings and the release of the accused.

The proposed amendment defines crime victim as “any person against whom the criminal offense is committed or who is directly and proximately harmed by the commission of an act, which, if committed by a competent adult, would constitute a crime.”

franksFor Colleen Campbell, a former California mayor and adviser to the National Organization for Victims’ Assistance whose 27-year-old son was strangled, murdered and thrown into the Pacific Ocean, the amendment is about restoring dignity for victims’ families and equality in court proceedings.

Continue reading this article, published nationwide by The McClatchy Company, via the student-run wire, Capital News Service. 

 

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